Enquiry ordered into JNU student’s complaint of sexual harassment

JNU/IFFI sexual harassment case — I&B Minister Manish Tewari said incident reported by a JNU student at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was regrettable and an enquiry has been ordered.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday said that the alleged sexual harassment incident reported by a JNU student at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was regrettable and an enquiry has been ordered.

“It is a regrettable incident. An enquiry committee has been instituted,” Manish Tewari told scribes.

“Necessary action will be taken and the Ministry of Information and Broadcast has zero tolerance against such issues,” he added.

A Delhi-based girl, who is a student of capital’s elite Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and was working as a programmer at the film festival in Goa complained accused a senior festival officer of the rank of deputy director of making lewd suggestions in the form of indirectly asking for sexual favours.

"On the night of November 16, 2013, lewd suggestions were made by the said person in the form of indirectly asking for sexual favours," says the complaint lodged on November 17.

"As a result of the incident, I feel harassed and highly offended. Hence I would like to report this matter under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013," said the 25-year-old girl.

The girl was in Goa at the IFFI venue on the assignment to assist the Soul of Asia and World Cinema sections.

The girl has accused the officer of inviting her to his cabin at the Old Goa Medical College (GMC) building in the late evening and suggested that she should accompany him for a drink.

"Drinks karne chalna hai, drinks bhi karenge aur sab kuch karna hai (Lets go for a drink, lets drink and do everything)," the complaint quotes the officer as saying.

The victim further has said the officer repeated his comments again despite her showing signs of uneasiness over his advances.

Along with the sexual harassment complaint, the girl has also told the festival director about the officer allegedly misusing CCTV monitoring facility in his cabin for voyeuristic pleasure as the cameras were installed at the workplace where women are employed.

Following the complaint, the IFFI directorate formed a three member committee comprising Nirupama Kotru, director (films) with Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry and two more women officials associated with the film festival.

"I was asked to depose before the committee and told them what had happened. The officer verbally apologized before the committee, but he did not mean the apology. There was no written apology from him and the committee informed me that the matter was settled as they have made some recommendations," she said.

With PTI Inputs

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