Tata Motors on Friday said it has asked its head of corporate communications Suresh Rangarajan to go on leave after a former colleague accused him of sexual harassment. The allegations surfaced on Twitter on Thursday.
“In light of the enquiry by ICC [the Internal Complaints Committee], Suresh Rangarajan has been asked to proceed on leave in order to allow for an objective enquiry to be completed as swiftly as possible,” the company said in a statement.
“At Tata Motors, we have always striven to ensure a respectful and safe workplace for everyone,” it added. “Any allegations are investigated and appropriate action is taken immediately.”
Rangarajan has been accused of inappropriate conduct and sexual harassment in the workplace. In one instance, he started massaging a woman colleague’s shoulders in the middle of breakfast with other colleagues, alleged the complaint. Once, he allegedly pushed his elbow into a woman’s breasts at a small party and continued doing so “even though the whole room was visibly uncomfortable”, the complainant added.
The allegations come at a time when several women, including journalists, have taken to social media to give detailed accounts of sexual harassment they have faced. The campaign, dubbed India’s #MeToo movement, has taken the media fraternity by storm. Several senior journalists, writers, media professionals and film artists have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Director Vikas Bahl, former Hindustan Times political editor Prashant Jha, actor Rajat Kapoor, minister MJ Akbar, and stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty are among those who have been accused of sexual misconduct since October 5.
Earlier this week, writer, director and producer Vinta Nanda accused Alok Nath of raping her 19 years ago. Actors Sandhya Mridul and Deepika Amin have also alleged that Nath sexually harassed them. On Thursday, two women accused Bollywood director Sajid Khan of sexual harassment.