“Immigration assistant Vinod Kumar has been placed under suspension and departmental disciplinary proceedings initiated against him,” a home ministry statement said on Friday. The ministry had advised the 37-year-old woman, who was travelling from Bangalore to Hong Kong via Delhi when she was allegedly harassed by the Kumar, to register an FIR against him.
According to the complaint filed by the victim’s father-in-law with the Bureau of Immigration, which comes under the foreigners division of the home ministry, she was subjected to a volley of offensive and inappropriate queries by Kumar after landing at IGI Airport on March 18. The officer, apart from asking her if she smokes or drinks, wanted to know if she “had fun with other men” when her husband was not around.
“Do you sleep with other men when your husband is at work?” he asked the lady. He allegedly also posed personal questions, including how many children she had and whether she left them with parents to “have fun” with other men. “The allegations made by the lady are extremely serious. The home ministry has directed the immigration authorities to take strictest possible action if they are found to be true,” said a home ministry officer.
The complaint from the lady’s father-in-law also accused the immigration officer of making sexual advances at her. “Would you like to have a third child with me because my wife doesn’t want another child…will you have fun with me?,” he asked the “horrified” victim. Worse still, he is alleged to have repeatedly asked her if she had had surgery for birth control.
The women has alleged that the officer chased her on the travellator and kept asking her vulgar questions. But when she took out her phone and started talking to a friend, he instantly left.
The woman was quoted as saying that after she returned from Hong Kong with her husband on March 23, they complained to a senior officer at the Delhi airport. But all they got was an apology and the officer continued at his post. The woman’s father-in-law then approached the Bureau of Immigration, after which the home ministry took note of the complaint and ensured that the officer was suspended without further delay and departmental proceedings initiated against him.