Bhopal: Shocking it may sound, but on an average at least two cases of woman harassment at workplaces and on campus were reported daily in the state in last one year. And all the more shocking is the fact that in most of the cases persons responsible for the act were given clean chit.
If figures are any indicator of the grim picture, State Women’s Commission registered as many as 757 cases of exploitation at places of work and on campus between March 2017 and February 2018. Besides, the commission registered as many as 17008 complaints of harassment during this period. The Commission doesn’t have separate category for registering cases of harassment on the college/university campus and workplace.
State Women Commission chairperson Lata Wankhede told Free Press that the commission takes action on every complaint it receives. The members go through the complaint, crosscheck it and then send recommendations to the concerned organisation/institute seeking action. Speaking about the Benazeer college case, Wankhede said that the commission has asked the principal to take action against the professor who has been accused of harassing girl students. A few cases of harassment reported at workplace and institutes in last few months.
MP Bhoj Open University
Three months ago, a non-teaching employee of the university had filed a complaint against a clerical staff Sanad Pandey accusing him of exploitation. The university constituted an enquiry but found Pandey not guilty and absolved him of all the charges. On the other hand, the contractual employee was terminated from her job. She later approached State Women Commission and even registered a complaint at Chunabhatti police station. The commission and police are probing the matter, however, the at snail’s pace.
A month bank, varsity English department postgraduate girl students had complained against Head of Department Prof Acchelal of mentally harassing and misbehaving with them. The registrar U N Shukla referred the matter to the women cell on the very same day. The HoD took a leave then but returned to work after a week. The women cell completed the inquiry and later Prof Acchelal was removed from the post of HoD.
National Law Institute University
In November last year, the institute remained embroiled in controversy over the allegation of harassment and mistreatment meted out to the girl students by the director SS Singh. The director was accused of making sexist remark on girls students. Following protests the director was made to go on leave. Almost after five months, the resignation of the director was accepted.
Government College of Science and Commerce (Benazeer)
Around three months back, female students accusing their chemistry Prof Rajesh Khare of mentally harassing and misbehaving with them had filed a complaint with college principal. They even took the matter to state women commission, to Higher Education minister and even filed a complaint at Jahangirabad Police station but no action has been initiated in the case The students even staged a ‘Jalsatyagrah’ in Upper Lake a week ago demanding actions against the Prof Khare, but to no avail.
Sexual harassment at PHQ
Last November, a 26-year-old constable posted at state police headquarters (PHQ) leveled allegations of harassment against an additional SP rank officer. Following her complaint a committee was constituted to look into the matter. Probe is underway in the case. An FIR against the officer has been also registered against the officer at Jahangirabad police station.
Harassment at NITTTR
A woman lab technician at National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) approached the women commission complaining against two professors of the department of allegedly harassing her. The two professors allegedly threatened her to not to come in the way of their interest. The technician was also transferred to another department and assigned work not as per her qualifications. The institute turned a deaf ear to her complaint.