Raj Bhavan employee accuses West Bengal Governor of sexual harassment

Ananda Bose says he won’t be cowed down by engineered narratives.

May 02, 2024 10:32 pm | Updated May 04, 2024 02:40 pm IST - Kolkata

West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose. File

West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose. File | Photo Credit: PTI

An employee at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Thursday alleged that she was sexually harassed by West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose. The woman also lodged a complaint at the Hare Street police station in Kolkata.

The development came hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to arrive at the Raj Bhavan for a night stay. He is scheduled to address three election rallies in West Bengal on Friday.

Reacting to the allegations, Mr. Bose said he would not be cowed down by engineered narratives. “Truth shall triumph. I refuse to be cowed down by engineered narratives . If anybody wants some election benefits by maligning me, God Bless them. But they can not stop my fight against corruption and violence in Bengal,” the Raj Bhavan said in a statement, quoting the Governor.

The ruling Trinamool Congress said the “sanctity of Raj Bhavan has been tarnished”.

“Appalling and unthinkable! The sanctity of Raj Bhavan, a symbol of our constitutionality, has been tarnished. Hours before PM Narendra Modi was supposed to arrive at Raj Bhavan to spend the night, a woman was allegedly molested by the Governor under the false pretext of a job,” the party posted on X from its official handle.

The party has also sought that “justice must be delivered swiftly for the victim – no excuses, no delays”.

According to police sources, the woman, who is a contractual employee at the Raj Bhavan since 2019, has accused the Governor of sexual harassment on two occasions. She alleged that she was asked to appear before the Governor on April 24 when she suffered sexual harassment. The woman alleged in her complaint that she faced a similar situation on Thursday following which she approached the police.

Article 361 of the Constitution grants immunity to the Governor against any criminal proceedings. Sources in the Kolkata Police said officials were taking legal opinion on the issue. Mr. Bose, a former bureaucrat, was appointed Governor in November 2023

The relation between the Raj Bhavan and the West Bengal government has not been cordial and differences over several issues, including appointment of Vice-Chancellors, have come out in the open in the past.

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