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MHA suspends immigration officer for allegedly harassing woman at IGI airport

The Home Ministry on Friday suspended an immigration officer at the Delhi airport after a female passenger complained that he allegedly verbally sexually harassed her by asking some offensive questions, adding that a departmental action has also been taken against the accused.



New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Friday suspended an immigration officer at the Delhi airport after a female passenger complained that he allegedly verbally sexually harassed her by asking some offensive questions, adding that a departmental action has also been taken against the accused.

“Immigration officer who allegedly harassed a woman at IGI airport has been suspended, departmental action taken against him,” according MHA sources.

"MHA suspended immigration assistant Vinod Kumar," PIB confirmed in a tweet.

While speaking to ANI, the woman who was allegedly harassed at IGI airport said, “He followed me and asked me something offensive.”

She further said, “Immigration officer started asking me really personal questions.”

The woman who belongs to Bengaluru, added that she was harassed at Delhi airport's immigration office when she was on her way to Hong Kong.

“I was travelling from Bangalore-Delhi-Hong Kong, went to immigration office at airport,” she said.

The immigration officer, Vinod Kumar, allegedly asked the woman some sexually explicit questions while checking the her passport and other travel documents after she reached the national capital from Bengaluru on her way to Hong Kong.

"I was verbally sexually harassed by an immigration officer at Delhi airport on March 18 night before I boarded a plane to Hong Kong," she said.

The woman alleged that the immigration officer asked many unpleasant and private questions while clearing the decks at the immigration counter.

"Do you sleep with another man when your husband is away at work? Would you like to have your third child with me because my wife doesn't want to have the third child," the immigration officer allegedly asked the woman.

The officer also told her: "have you done birth control surgery?....Why are you going alone to Hong Kong? To have fun with your husband or with anyone else. Will you have fun with me?"

"What was more disgusting and uncomfortable was that the official followed me along the travelator, between domestic and international transfer," she claimed.

Meanwhile, the father-in-law of the victim, a former head of a Karnataka commerce and industry body, in his online complaint mailed to the Commissioner, Bureau Of Immigration, Delhi, PK Bhardwaj, said his daughter-in-law lodged an oral complaint on her return from Hong Kong on March 23 at the airport along with her husband and son.

"Since my daughter-in-law was travelling alone and was in a state of shock, she only lodged an oral complaint on her return from Hong Kong," he said, as per PTI.

Soon after the incident was brought to the notice of the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) Alok Kumar Verma, he said the officer directed the family to lodge an online complaint to the Commissioner of Bureau of Immigration.

On a quick interrogation, the official denied he had spoken to her by leaving his desk and followed her on the travelator, at the transfer area, he said.

"As soon as the accused was summoned in AFRRO's cabin, my daughter-in-law recognised him. He was blabbering while replying to queries posed by his boss - symptoms of his guilt, you know," he said.

He further said he would wait for another six days for immigration officials to initiate action against the accused official or otherwise he would take up the matter with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

(With Agency inputs)

 

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