14th November 2017, Teesta finally made the Police Complaint at BidhanNagar Electronic Complex Police station, Kolkata, West Bengal stating the series of verbal sexual assaults, ragging and the threats she was receiving from the HR Director and HR Manager to close the case that she had filed with the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) on 22nd June 2017.
Interestingly, the Presiding Officer of the ICC is a senior Director of the Organization and appears to be a mentor figure in the Organization. Employees do trust on his logical interpretation and everyone has an assumption that he is a well-wisher for his employees and will always do justice to them. Teesta, was no exception. She considered him to be a father-like image and always believed and trusted on his intentions and words. Teesta, in her weirdest of dream had never thought that this man was actually a “tormentor in the name of mentor”.
Teesta had always shared her success stories, her achievements as a writer and even if she had won a debate competition, he was the first to be shared the news with. For Teesta, the good news always had meant to be shared with him before anybody else. This was the relation she shared with him – a true student mentor relationship even working under the constraint of corporate environment. May it be a Hackathon idea, something new on work –field or a simple Corporate Social Responsibilty initiative; Teesta followed his suggestions and advices religiously.
He was informed about this Sexual Harassment faced by Teesta from the very beginning. He knew in and out of the case. He was well-informed about the Manager’s unbearable and torturing behavior towards Teesta, the series of ragging that were happening, he was copied in the mail trails and was completely aware of the threats that Teesta received from the HR Director and HR Manager on 13th November 2017. Not only that, he was copied in the mails sent out by the HR Director and HR Manager stating that the case has been closed. Also, he was forwarded the scary and threat mails sent to Teesta by her Manager to put her in compliance issue.
He being the Presiding officer of the ICC and as an important decision making authority of the organization did not respond to any of these mails. He remained silent and did not utter a single word till date. He was actually safe guarding and sheltering all of the accused who were found guilty of sexually assaulting Teesta.
19th September 2017: Teesta was crying and almost fell at his feet requesting him to save her from the hands of her Manager. “ Dada, I don’t want to go for those 1-1 meetings with him. He harassed me in the last 1-1 meeting and he is extremely revengeful and has grudge on me. He is scaring me, please do something. Atleast change my seat or change my reporting as I no longer feel safe to report him anymore. He thwarts a woman’s dignity every now and then”.
He answered Teesta loud and Clear “It is very hard to change your seat and there is no question of changing your reporting. I suggest you not to stop interacting with him as the situation might become more hostile but I will talk to him on this.” Teesta requested him multiple times to give a thought on seat change and even she told it is a very big office, you can make me seat anywhere but please not beside him.
Oh, one more thing- in the name of seat relocation, the management placed the Manager’s seat just at a distance of less than 2 meters, so that he gets more frequent chance to disturb her, cling on her chair and scare her from time to time. Earlier, the Manager used to seat at a far by place and had to walk few meters to Teesta’s desk. Now, it is all so easy….
22nd September 2017: The Organization had arranged for a workshop on Anti-Sexual Harassment at Workplace and the same External Member who gave the final ICC Report on Teesta’s case was called in for the executing the workshop.
NOTE: Teesta’s Manager was on planned Leave on 22nd September 2017, and the workshop was purposely organized on his absence, so that he is not confronted with any undesirable situation and the management was successful in sheltering the accused.
Anyways, after the workshop was over, the external member called Teesta in the conference room where HR Manager, Presiding Officer of ICC and a senior member of ICC were already present. Teesta, clearly communicated to them that she had never closed the cases of her Manager and Tanuja and want strong disciplinary actions against both of them. It has already been reported for the second time to the Presiding officer that the Manager is extremely misbehaving and scaring her and has no sense of guilt; neither is ashamed of his wrong doing. Teesta requested them to ensure a safe work environment for her and make sure that she is not put into such sexual assault in future.
- You don’t have the right to choose whom you work with
This is what she got to hear from the Presiding Officer – loud and clear.
You don’t have the right to say “No” to the assaulters. This is what he meant exactly. Educated in one of the finest institute like Indian Institute of Technology, designated as Senior Director, this is how he treats FEMALE EMPLOYEES in his organization. His attitude directs me to conclude that women are paid not for their skills, service or capability but for their entertaining skills. For people like him hiring FEMALE EMPLOYEES and hanging posters of Anti-sexual harassment all over in office means that they are “Equal Opportunity and Gender bias free” employers. This is one of the smartest ways to hide male chauvinism in the veil of Equal Opportunity.
However, things went worse after the Durga Puja Vacation. Now, the HR Director and HR Manager are forcing Teesta to close the case. Multiples emails exchanged but Teesta is determined that she would go for a closure only if strong disciplinary actions are taken against the harassers. As I earlier mentioned, things are still on the same page, no actions are taken so far and finally unable to bear the threats coming from the HR Director, Teesta moved her case to the Police on 14TH November 2017.
“Go anywhere under the sun, you have to close the case if you want to work here, This is India, you cannot do anything…”
14th November 2017, Teesta finally made the Police Complaint at BidhanNagar Electronic Complex Police station, Kolkata, West Bengal under her Right To Appeal.
Disclaimer: Names and characters mentioned here are purely the author’s imagination and bear no resemblance to any actual person living or dead. The content is not intended to offend the sentiment of any individuals, institutions etc.