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Archives for : October2018

Mumbai- SNDT hostel warden shames student for outfit, strips her

SNDT hostel warden shames student for outfit, strips her

SNDT University’s hostel inmates went on a protest as word of the alleged sexual misconduct got around

HIGHLIGHTS

Over 400 inmates of the hostel sat on a dharna till evening demanding the warden’s immediate dismissal.

The protest was called off only after the university management sent the warden on ‘administrative leave’ for four days.

University authorities said that the student had herself removed her clothes to show her the infection.

The Juhu hostel campus of SNDT University erupted in fury on Sunday after the warden allegedly shamed a student over the length of her skirt and then stripped her in her room.

The alleged sexual misconduct sparked a protest—over 400 inmates of the hostel sat on a dharna till evening demanding the warden’s immediate dismissal—and prompted the police to book the purported harasser for molestation. The protest was called off only after the university management sent the warden on ‘administrative leave’ for four days.

According to one of the hostel inmates, a second-year engineering student was headed out in the afternoon when she was stopped by the warden, Rachana Zaveri, because the hem of her skirt ended above her knees. Although the 19-year-old owed nobody an explanation for her choice of outfit, she still told the warden that because of an allergic reaction on her private parts, she couldn’t wear tightfitting clothes, and that she was on her way to a doctor get the infection looked at.

SNDT hostel warden shames student for outfit, strips her

The warden, however, refused to let her go outside and allegedly dragged her into her room with two of her friends. “The warden then humiliated her and made her strip,” said one of the students who was with the victim.

She’s a habitual abuser, claim students

This allegedly wasn’t first instance of harassment on the part of the warden. Another student claimed that many inmates have been at the receiving end of Zaveri’s abuse.

“The warden has often abused, harassed us and made inappropriate comments at us. We have been complaining about her behaviour for long, but instead of taking action against her, the university would reveal the complainants’ identities to the warden.

After that Zaveri would start targeting the complainants further and threaten them with dire consequences,” alleged another student.

Girls must wear decent clothes: Registrar

University authorities said the warden had contested the student’s claims, saying that the student had herself removed her clothes to show her the infection. “The warden claimed that the student forced her to go into the room and removed her clothes, saying she was not seeing what the problem was. The warden then came out of the room,” said a faculty member.

#MeToo: Last of five-part series on sexual harassment and legal recourse: We need to think beyond deadlines

Following the protest, the university management asked the students to submit their demands in writing. “They have sought the warden’s dismissal. The letter has been forwarded to the vice-chancellor, who is in Nagpur at the moment. She will return to Mumbai on Monday. We assured the students that the situation will be handled [appropriately]. Our hostel committee will investigate the matter and take action,” said the faculty member.

She has often abused, harassed us and made inappropriate comments at us. We have been complaining for long

A hostel inmate

 

The member also said students had complained to her about the warden’s “abusive” behaviour two days ago. “They said she is abusive and that her behaviour is unacceptable. They want the warden to be removed because she is following certain rules and norms in the hostel. The issue was of students taking food from the mess to their room. Sunday’s incident aggravated the situation,” she said.

Meena Kute, registrar (additional charge), told Mirror that she has called students for a meeting on Monday to discuss their grievances. “The rector has apologised and has been sent on a fourday leave. There are boys in the hostel, so we tell women students to wear decent clothes. When girls wear short or transparent clothes, we tell them.” The students, however, have misgivings about the authorities’ assurances. “They are telling us not to escalate the matter. We fear that they would send the warden back to the hostel and harass us further,” said another student.
An officer at Santacruz police station said Zaveri has been booked under Section 354 (molestation) of the IPc. “We haven’t arrested her yet. We will look into it on Monday.”

– With inputs from Rahi Gaikwad

mumbai mirror

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Nandita Das says she will support MeToo movement despite the allegations against her father

Nandita Das has written in a Facebook post that she will keep voicing support towards the #MeToo movement even though her father, Jatin Das, has been accused of sexual harassment.

Nandita Das,MeToo movement,Jatin Das
Nandita Das has written in a Facebook post that she will continue to support the MeToo movement.(Reuters)

Actor-director Nandita Das Tuesday broke her silence over the sexual harassment allegations against her father, noted painter Jatin Das, stating that she will continue to lend support to the  #MeToo movement. A woman, who is the co-founder of a paper-making company, Tuesday came forward to claim that she was sexually harassed 14 years ago by Jatin Das, allegations which the painter dismissed as “vulgar”.

In a Facebook post, Nandita said despite the “disturbing” allegations against her father, she would continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women coming forward with stories of abuse and harassment.

She also warned that women need to be “sure” about their allegations before accusing someone.

“As a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, I want to reiterate that I will continue to add my voice to it, despite the disturbing allegations made against my father, which he has categorically denied,” she wrote on the social networking site.

“I have maintained from the very start that this is the time we all need to listen, so that women (and men) feel safe to speak up. At the same time, it is also important to be sure about allegations so as not to dilute the movement,” the actor said. Nandita said she has received support from “friends and strangers – who are concerned and are trusting my integrity”. “I do believe truth will prevail. And that is all I have to say on this matter,” she asserted. Jatin Das is the latest addition to a growing list of men who have been named as part of the #MeToo campaign that has taken the country by storm.

The woman, Nisha Bora, took to Twitter to level the allegations against the noted painter. Describing the incident, Bora, who was 28-years-old then, said Das during a dinner event asked whether she “had the time and willingness to assist him for a few days to organise his work material”, and after she gave her approval on the second day — at his Khidki village studio — he molested her.

“… He attempted to grab me. I wriggled out of his embrace, flustered. Then he did it again… I pushed him away and moved away from him.

 

“At that moment, he said ‘Come on, it would be nice’. Or something like that. What I recall was his disbelief that I was pushing back. I picked my bag… and ran home. Never to speak about it. Until now,” she said.

The Padma Bhushan awardee, however, has denied the allegations and said these days a “game” was going on to level allegations against people for the “fun” of it.

He labelled the allegations against him as “vulgar”.

“I am shocked. All kinds of things are happening these days… Some people do things and some people make allegations. I don’t know her, I have never met her, and even if I did meet somebody somewhere one doesn’t behave like this… It is vulgar,” Das told PTI.

“There is a game going on, some people are real, have done some things while some people are making allegations for the fun of it,” he added.

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India -Around 80% sexual harassment cases go unreported survey reveals #MeToo

According to the survey, 50 percent respondents said they had faced sexual harassment at workplace during regular office hours

Moneycontrol News@moneycontrolcom

While the ‘#MeToo’ movement against sexual harassment is gaining momentum on social media, a large section of women are yet to report such cases, according to an online survey.

According to a nationwide online survey on sexual harassment at workplace, conducted by LocalCircles, around 80 percent women never report harassment in India. More than 28,000 votes were polled in the survey from over 15,000 unique participants located across India.

Approximately 6,100 or 40 percent of respondents were females. The participants from tier 1 cities were 40 percent, tier 2 cities were 28 percent and tier 3 cities and rural areas were 32 percent.

According to the survey, 32 percent respondents said they, or one of their family members have experienced or observed sexual harassment at workplace.

As many as 50 percent respondents said that they faced sexual harassment at workplace during regular office hours. Around 78 percent respondents said that such cases were not reported to the human resources (HR) department.

The survey also points to another problem that people are not aware of what inappropriate behavior is.

The 2013 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act stipulates any organisation with more than ten employees should have an independent committee to investigate allegations.

However, many organisations are not adhering to the letter of the law, or only paying lip service to it. The committees required to address these complaints and grievances are either not properly constituted or simply do not exist.

The #MeToo movement which initially started in US has gained significant momentum in India. Many women, primarily from Bollywood and media industry have come forward about sexual harassment that they faced at workplace.

The #MeToo movement took shape in India after actress Tanushree Dutta accused co-star Nana Patekar of inappropriate behaviour while shooting for a film. Since then, many individuals have been called out on social media over alleged sexual harassment.

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India – 20 Women Journalists Support Priya Ramani, To Testify Against MJ Akbar #MeToo

The journalists have urged the court to hear their testimonies against MJ Akbar, claiming that some of them suffered sexual harassment by the minister and others have been a witness to it.

20 Women Journalists Support Priya Ramani, To Testify Against MJ Akbar

19 women journalists will support Priya Ramani, who alleged sexual harassment against MJ Akbar (File)

NEW DELHI: As the #MeToo movement gains ground, 19 women journalists who have worked with ‘The Asian Age’ newspaper, came out in support of their colleague Priya Ramani who has accused union minister MJ Akbar of sexual harassment, a joint statement issued by them said.

The journalists have urged the court to hear their testimonies against MJ Akbar, claiming that some of them suffered sexual harassment by the minister and others have been a witness to it.

“Ramani is not alone in her fight. We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case to also consider the testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment,” the journalists said in the joint statement undersigned by them.

Meenal Baghel who worked for Asian Age (1993 to 1996), Manisha Pande (1993-1998), Tushita Patel (1993-2000), Kanika Gahlaut (1995-1998), Suparna Sharma (1993-1996), Ramola Talwar Badam (1994-1995), Hoihnu Hauzel (1999-2000), Aisha Khan (1995-1998) and Kushalrani Gulab (1993-1997) have signed the statement.

Kaniza Gazari (Asian Age 1995-1997), Malavika Banerjee (1995-1998), AT Jayanthi (1995-1996), Hamida Parkar (1996-1999), Jonali Buragohain, Meenakshi Kumar (1996-2000), Sujata Dutta Sachdeva (1999-2000), Reshmi Chakraborty (1996-98), Kiran Manral (1993-96) and Sanjari Chatterjee are the other journalists to sign the statement.

One journalist from Deccan Chronicle, Christina Francis (2005-2011), also signed the statement.

“What Akbar has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused immense pain and indeed harm to many women over the years.

“He himself, in the meanwhile, continues to enjoy enormous power and privilege as minister and Member of Parliament,” the statement said.

“When Ramani spoke out against him in public, she spoke not only about her personal experience, but also lifted the lid on the culture of ‘casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation’ that Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age,” it said.

Many journalists from multiple media platforms have come forward with their stories of harassment against the Minister of State for External Affairs under the social media campaign ‘#MeToo’ against sexual misconduct.

MJ Akbar, however, has denied the allegations and on Monday filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ms Ramani.

Hours after returning from a trip to Africa, the union minister issued a statement trashing the charges against him, saying accusations without evidence has become a “viral fever” among some sections.

Ms Ramani on Monday asserted that she was ready to fight the defamation complaint filed against her, and expressed disappointment over the minister’s statement, saying it paid no heed to the “trauma and fear of the survivors”.

“I am ready to fight the allegations of defamation laid against me as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence,” she had said

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MJ Akbar has 97 lawyers fighting for him against one Priya Ramani #WTFnews #MeToo

Crowdfunding, legal support pours in for survivors

Mumbai: First, the 14 survivors outed MJ Akbar, the junior minister in the external affairs ministry, after years of having struggled with the suffering which they reported they were forced to undergo.  Now, they have to contend with the might of a minister who has come down like a sack of coals on a woman of grit, ironically on the birth anniversary of his namesake and one of India’s greatest emperors, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar.

Support is pouring in for the survivors from every quarter, online and in person, as they ready to battle the criminal defamation suit filed by the former editor. The Network of Women in Media, India, the Foundation for Media Professionals and the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists have sent a letter of protest in solidarity with the 14 survivors to the President and Prime Minister.

But first the shocker — 97 lawyers whom Akbar has named on the ‘vakalatnama’ are the same who had fought for Tarun Tejpal, founder of Tehelka. Journalist Vinod K Jose tweeted, “How do serial sexual offenders all have the same legal defence? Tejpal had a partner of Karanjawala and Co (Sandeep Kapoor) defending him. MJ Akbar has gone to Karanjawala himself. K’wala is a friend of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Political might comes to destroy,” said Jose.

However, just as goddess Durga emerged from the pooling of energies of all the gods, women from all quarters have pooled in their energies and resources. The minute the petition was put out, Nidhi Razdan of NDTV expressed shock. “Just read the entire criminal defamation suit filed by MJ Akbar. He has NINETY SEVEN lawyers fighting for him! 97! Against one Priya Ramani, Well, well,” said Razdan. Senior counsel, Indira Jaising responded, saying this was just the beginning, the legal teams only get larger. “Wife and daughters and two senior women partners, included, but you have not seen it all yet, in court it will be senior lawyers, so add to the numbers,” tweeted Jaising.

The court case will surely mean huge expenses for the survivors, and an additional burden. The co-founder of the Money Life Foundation, Sucheta Dalal, suggested crowdfunding. “Hey, Priya Ramani and all the 14 who spoke up. Let’s crowd fund your defence. I am sure many top lawyers will help you fight pro bono, but we at Money Life India know there are lots of expenses involved! So think about it! Happy to support, I am sure thousands of others will too!” said Dalal.

Yet another woman was ready to donate an amount equivalent to her monthly beauty parlour expenditure to the cause of the survivors. Or, “if there is a ‘go-fund-me’ link to pay for Priya Ramani’s legal defence, hook me up. I am ready to pay the entirety of my parlour expenses for the month for her. My message to MJ Akbar, we make money and we are coming for you,” said Aishwarya. Some noted the stoic silence of the government on allowing Akbar to continue in office, and believe this is blatant politicisation of the #MeToo movement. “Not surprised by Akbar/BJP brazening it out. The most consistent thing about Modi-Shah politics is, nobody is made to go under any allegations whatsoever. Those who jumped to announce Akbar resignation should’ve googled Kuldip Singh Sengar, BJP MLA in custody for rape and murder,” said Shekhar Gupta

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