After Furore, 56 Terminated Housekeeper Staff Who Accused Employee Of NIFT Hyderabad Of Sexual Harassment Reinstated

20 Jun 2019 6:35 AM GMT
After Furore, 56 Terminated Housekeeper Staff Who Accused Employee Of NIFT Hyderabad Of Sexual Harassment Reinstated
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The National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad reinstated the 56 female housekeeping staffers after drawing flak for allegedly firing them over sexual harassment allegations against a regular employee, D Srinivas Reddy.

Following criticism terminating the workers for protesting over the alleged sexual harassment, NIFT Hyderabad restored the contract with a manpower agency employing them.

The institution had earlier asked the concerned agency, with which the staff belongs, to send their replacement.

Reddy, a stenographer with the institution, has been accused of sexual harassment, passing lewd comments and asking women to sleep with him. Reportedly, two-three women staffers had quit their jobs in the past year due to the harassment.

Ironically, Reddy remains to be employed at the institution.

Housekeeping Staff Complained About Accused

The issue came to light after a woman lodged a complaint against Reddy.

Ratna Kumari, the supervisor told The News Minute, “Srinivas used to sexually harass women employees who would attend to his cabin. He would hold the women staff by their hips, click their photographs without consent, and invite them home to sleep with him.”

Kumari further added that Reddy had become so open about his acts that he would directly ask for ‘young and pretty women to be sent to his cabin’. “He said that I have a good figure and asked me to sleep with him,” Kumari said.

Reddy allegedly abused women using sexual expletives and connotations; and asked for sexual favours.

Alleged Inaction By NIFT

Reportedly, Reddy has good connections with the top management of the institute. Despite approaching a few authorities of the institution, the women received no help.

It was then that the women decided to file a police complaint.

The women alleged continuous harassment by Reddy. Murali, the owner of the agency with which the women are employed said that Reddy asked Kumari to be ‘thrown out’.

Reportedly, the institute formed an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) only after the case was filed and there was a media uproar.

However, Kumari says that seven months after a team from Delhi came to handle the matter, and unofficially informed her that it was a case of sexual harassment, Reddy was continuing his job.

Women Staffers Terminated

An order sent by the Institute on June 18 asked the contractor to end the services of all the women staffers working on the campus. This happened a day after the women took to streets in protest, demanding Reddy’s resignation.

The women were asked to leave citing ‘lapses on part of the housekeeping team’. However, Kumari asked why are the faults being picked now, when the same staff has been working on-campus for close to two decades.

The Madhapur SHO said that the women protested on Monday against termination. The official said, “It is true that a case was filed last October against Srinivas Reddy. But later we found that the women were creating unnecessary ruckus after being terminated from service. The case is now closed.”

Also Read: #MeToo: Journalist Who Accused M J Akbar Of Sexual Harassment Summoned By Court In Defamation Case By Him

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