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Sexual Harassment Row hits IIM-B

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TNI Bureau: Tension visited once again the premises of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) over the alleged sexual harassment of a lady doctor as a massive protest was staged against the institute’s chief administrative officer demanding immediate action.
The two-year-old incident again hit the headlines after the volunteers of Vimochana, a women’s rights forum, demanded justice for the victim in front of the institute’s campus.

The lady doctor, who was working as a medical officer at IIM-B, found herself subject to unwelcome sexual overtures by the institute’s chief administrative officer Indu Shekhar Vasisst in December 2009.

The lady doctor claimed that the harassment continued, and repeatedly she was the victim when she ignored Vasisst’s behaviour. She received sexually loaded messages from him and she could not find a safe atmosphere to perform her duty.

Later, she complained to the chairperson of the Gender Sensitivity Committee (GSC) of the IIMB in November 2011 and to the director and dean of the institute. Even though, the CAO was changed on the basis of her allegations, he continued to harass her. Before the probe begins on the basis of the complaints lodged by the doctor, she was terminated from the job on January 30, 2012, on charges of not performing her duties well.

GSC began its inquiry in March 2012 and the report was submitted to the director in August 2012, with recommendations for the final disposal. However, the women’s rights forum claimed that there had been no final orders on the probe report that had been submitted to the director. They demanded a judiciary inquiry.

Earlier, the lady doctor had approached the high court against termination of her services, but she failed to get the justice. She alleged that the dean (administration) professor S Raghunath and Vasisst had worked against her. Even, Prof Raghunath had insisted her to not to file any complaint against the CAO.

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