Molestation victim claims she’s been sacked

Aerocity hotel executive recalls trauma, says accused had targeted other women employees too

“I don’t know why I was fired from my job,” said the Aerocity hotel executive who was was allegedly molested by a security manager on July 29.

Though the hotel’s spokesperson, Raja Singh, denied that the woman was sacked, the latter told The Hindu that she was called to the office at 2 p.m. and asked not to come with immediate effect. “I was asked to meet the HR manager who told me in front of the members of the committee (set up to look into the harassment allegation) that I was being fired because I had ‘misguided’ them,” she alleged.

When asked why the management said she had misguided them, she said they were referring to the fact that she was reluctant to give the name of the person who had given her the CCTV footage. “I didn’t give Devender Singh’s name because I was worried he would lose his job, which he eventually did. I gave someone else’s name,” she said.

On how her colleagues treated her after she lodged the complaint on August 1, she said her immediate superior started picking on her for no real reason. “For the last three to four days, my boss would call me and point out little faults. It became very difficult for me but I was determined to continue with my job and not answer back because I had to earn for my two children,” she said.

‘Birthday gift’

Recalling the incident, the victim said the accused, Pawan Dahiya, called her to the security office and pulled out his credit card, asking her what birthday gift she wanted. “I said I didn’t want anything and he said he wanted to go to a room with me. He then asked the person standing next to him to find out if someone was there in his room,” she alleged, adding that she rebuked Mr. Dahiya for talking to her in that manner.

She said she managed to leave the room after a staff entered for some work. As she stepped out of the hotel, she was allegedly stopped by Mr. Dahiya who asked her to get into his car, but she refused. The accused allegedly followed her to the metro station and stopped her again asking her to come with him.

“I am happy he has been arrested but I am shocked how the management didn’t take any action on my complaint and asked me not do anything,” she alleged. The hotel management, however, denied the allegation that she approached them before going to the police.

Other victims

The victim alleged that Mr. Dahiya had misbehaved with many women employees, but they did not speak as they were scared they would lose their job. “He mostly targeted contractual employees,” she alleged.

Meanwhile, the accused was produced in a court on Friday and granted bail after furnishing a personal bond of ₹25,000. An officer privy to the investigation said Mr. Dahiya claimed that the CCTV footage was “doctored”.

He also alleged that the victim had an abusive boyfriend at the workplace who was sacked due to his conduct.

The woman wanted her boyfriend to be hired again and on that day, she had gone to the security manager’s room to plead for his job, the accused allegedly told the police.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:45:10 PM |

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