A top executive of Greenpeace India has resigned following an internal review by the NGO of its handling of two prior sexual harassment cases.
Executive Director of Greenpeace India, Samit Aich, offered his resignation to the Greenpeace India Board, which accepted it on Wednesday, the NGO said, adding that a Programme Director, Divya Raghunandan, too, has quit.
"The Executive Director of Greenpeace India, Samit Aich, resigned following an internal review of the organisation’s handling of two sexual harassment cases.
"…Separately, Programme Director Divya Raghunandan has resigned from the organisation," said a statement on the NGO’s website.
The NGO had earlier "ended" the employment of two of its employees — one allegedly involved in cases of rape of a woman employee of the organisation and the other accused of several cases of sexual harassment.
It had also tendered an unconditional apology for the way it handled the alleged sexual harassment case.
The move had come after one of its ex-employees wrote an article on a web forum last week alleging rape and sexual harassment by colleagues at Greenpeace India.
The statement on the website further said that its Board has now appointed two interim co-Executive Directors — Vinuta Gopal and Sanjiv Gopal.
"Their appointments are with full mandate and support while the Board starts the process of recruiting a new Executive Director," it said.
The Board also decided to commission a full, independent audit of how Greenpeace India dealt with the sexual harassment cases so that it may strengthen its internal processes to ensure a safe working environment for women, it said.
The Board, meanwhile, made clear their appreciation for Aich for 11 years of dedicated service to Greenpeace India.
"In his time with Greenpeace India, Samit has overseen some of the organisation’s biggest campaign successes and has also been at the helm during some of its most difficult times," the statement said.
The government had earlier barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds by suspending its licence for six months and freezing all its accounts after alleging that it has "prejudicially" affected the country’s interests.