Delhi

Scribe accuses ex-colleague of sexual harassment

Was allegedly harassed for over 2 years; complaint also mentions 3 other journalists

A woman journalist working with an English daily here has accused her former colleague of repeatedly making sexual advances at her for over two years and conspiring with journalists of three different publications to post defamatory and explicit messages on social networking platforms to harm her reputation.

Charges against accused

A case has been registered on charges of sexual harassment, attempts to contact a woman to foster personal interaction, criminal intimidation and insult the modesty of a woman, among others, under the Indian Penal Code and for breach of confidentiality under the Information Technology Act.

Station House Officer, Women Police Station, Sector 51, Kamlesh, told The Hindu that teams have been constituted to arrest Rashpal Singh Bhardwaj, the prime accused in the case, but he is absconding. “The technical surveillance mounted on him has revealed his last location to be Jaipur,” said the officer.

Ms. Kamlesh said that the complainant had been asked to record her statement before the Magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Monday.

The complainant, in the FIR, claimed that Rashpal, who had joined the publication in July 2016, made sexual advances at her on several occasions, forced her to attend office parties against her will and also held her hand on four occasions.

“[Rashpal] Forced me to sit with him in his cabin, but when I refused he threatened to complain against me... took revenge during the appraisal and mentioned bad feedback,” stated the FIR, registered on February 8.

She further said that the accused molested her inside the office in January 2017, touched her inappropriately and even asked her to hug him inside his cabin. “I refused and walked out. All this was witnessed by my colleagues,” read the FIR.

The complainant further said that the company had asked the accused to resign in October last year following which he started maligning her on social networking platforms.

The complainant has also provided screenshots as evidence to the police in support of her claims.

She claimed that of late she had been receiving explicit messages from “unknown users” and suspected that Rashpal, in conspiracy with others, was sending these messages to her from fake accounts to harass, malign and defame her.

The complainant has also named Rao Jaswant Singh, a journalist with another English daily, Achlendra Katiyar and Shahnawaz Alam in the FIR for conspiring with Rashpal to malign her. Both Achlendra and Shahnawaz work at senior positions with different Hindi dailies.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 4:54:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/scribe-accuses-ex-colleague-of-sexual-harassment/article26232216.ece

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