A group of around 13 staffers of the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Hyderabad staged a protest on Monday against the management’s alleged inaction in a sexual harassment complaint against a senior faculty member. The protestors claimed that neither the Internal Complaints Committee nor the police had taken any action, The New Indian Express reported.
“We have filed a complaint, some seven months ago, however till this date, nobody has helped us out,” said the supervisor of the staff. “Four of our team members have been sexually abused by the professor.”
The police detained the demonstrators on Monday. “We are also looking into the aspect of a possible fake case as the faculty accused had pulled up the contractor last year for their poor performance,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhapur Venkateshwar sad. “This could be a motivated attempt.”
Meanwhile, the institute has sacked 56 female housekeeping staff, including those who have been working for a decade, after they complained against the accused, The News Minute reported. An order was sent on Tuesday asking the contractor to terminate the services of all the female staff working on campus.
In October last year, the supervisor of the staff had lodged a case against the accused for sexually harassing the employees. The accused would allegedly hold the hips of the female staff, click their pictures without permission, and invite them home to sleep with him. “He became so open about his acts that he would directly come to me and ask me to send young and pretty women to his cabin,” the supervisor said. “When I told him that none of the women wanted to work with him, he said that I have a good figure and asked me to sleep with him.”
The women had first approached institute authorities about the accused’s misconduct, but they did not receive any response from them after which they filed a police complaint. After the police complaint, the accused was absconding and the police had deputed teams to be on the lookout for him, according to The New Indian Express.
The police have confirmed to The News Minute that a case had been filed against the accused. “It is true that a case was filed last October against Srinivas Reddy,” the Madhapur station officer house said. “But later we found that the women were creating unnecessary ruckus for being terminated from service. The case is now closed.”