AIR Employees Who Accused Official Of Sexual Harassment Terminated
With #MeToo movement gaining momentum, yet another incident has come to the fore where nine women employees of Madhya Pradesh’s All India Radio were terminated because they complained against the station’s assistant director (programming), Ratnakar Bharti, of sexual harassment.
Victims terminated, accused roam free
Presently, Bharti is stationed at New Delhi’s AIR headquarters despite being declared guilty by Internal Complaint Committee of AIR a year ago. He is, however, under the “strictest vigilance watch”. The nine women who accused him of the crime have been terminated.
Reportedly, Bharti is currently facing proceedings under section FR 56(j) of the Central Civil Services Pension Rules, which has been notified by the department of personnel and training (DoPT). Taking this into account, Bharti may compulsorily be retired, said a report by The Wire.
Shehryar refused to accept that the women being fired had anything to do with their complaints against Bharti. He said that a three-tiered process weeding out poor performers is an annual affair and that those left out often make it an ego issue. “We cannot overlook a rule to benefit any individual,” he said.
“Every incident that has been reported has been probed by the Internal Complaints Committee. In the Shahdol instance, after the ICC verdict, Ratnakar Bharti was transferred immediately from Shahdol and he remains under strictest vigilance at the DG Headquarters,” Fayyaz Shehryar, director general All India Radio, told The Times of India.
It has been alleged that complaints of sexual harassment have also come from Dharamshala, Obra, Sagar, Rampur, Kurukshetra and Delhi stations, and in all these cases the accused have been let off with a warning, and the casual broadcasters who have complained have been terminated.
“WeToo in MeToo”
All these cases, along with the Shahdol case, have led All India Radio Trade union to move the chief executive of Prasar Bharati, Shashi Shekhar Vempati, and urge him to consider the complaints and take make the accused face severe consequences for their crime. According to the demand of the trade union, the PB CEO must “look into the matter seriously, reinstate these victims, compensate them for their loss and ensure that strictest possible punishment is meted out to such officials.”
The All India Trade Union employees have pleaded “WeToo in MeToo” in a letter to Vempati and said that it is unfortunate that despite the complaints, the complainants have been asked to leave, and that in some cases the victims are not allowed to enter the AIR stations, whereas the accused roam free.
The Logical Indian urges authorities to take strict action against the accused and provide justice to the victims.