The family of Sanjeev Rajoria, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) assistant director general who committed suicide on August 2, Monday submitted his diary to the police, which contains hints of the alleged sexual harassment Rajoria was facing at his workplace. “Family reputation at stake. Even that of wife and kids. I’m straight. Have done nothing. So far. Be confident. Stay alert,” a handwritten entry scribbled in pencil in the diary says. The police have confirmed receipt of the diary.
In her letter to the police, Rajoria’s wife Neelam (33) has alleged that four of his colleagues had been harassing him with sexual comments. She says her husband may have been sexually abused, which drove him to suicide.
“On the evening of August 1, the day he had joined work after a week-long leave, he was sweating, panicking and stayed very silent. He went to sleep without talking much. I suspect he was threatened or assaulted that day in some form,” Neelam said. The family in their statement has said they suspect Rajoria was “forced to give sexual favours”, and have asked the police to trace the location of the four accused that day.
Rajoria (34) worked as an assistant director general at DoT. In 2008, he married Neelam, and had two children. On August 2, he allegedly hanged himself in a Powai hotel room. According to his family, he had been working in his office for over five years. “But the sexual harassment started four months ago,” said Mukundlal Verma, Rajoria’s father-in-law.
The family said they complained about the harassment to his department head on July 18. A meeting was called to discuss the issue on July 24, and Rajoria took a week’s leave to calm himself, his wife said. “When he returned to work, he was upset that no action was taken against any of them,” Neelam said, adding that she felt threatened and could not approach the police.
“There is no policy or committee in his company to look into sexual harassment of men,” Neelam said. The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2017, includes harassment faced by women but makes no mention of men. “A company may on its own form a gender neutral policy for harassment of both men and women, but most companies form an internal complaint committee that only looks into harassment complaints filed by women,” said Persis Sidhwa, attached with NGO Majlis. The Rajoria family has now written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding a CBI inquiry into Sanjeev’s death.
Zonal deputy commissioner N Reddy said, “We have taken an accidental death report in the matter. If we find evidence that some people drove Rajoria to suicide, necessary action will be taken. Investigation is at an early stage.” Despite repeated calls and messages, there was no response from the DoT.
(with inputs from MOHAMED THAVER)