An air hostess working with national carrier Air India has alleged that she was sexually abused by a senior official, whom he described as “predator”. She made the allegations in a letter sent to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The letter, written by the victim, was titled as “Request for justice, sexual harassment and discrimination at the workplace by Air India senior executive”. She posted the letter on her personal Twitter handle too.
According to media reports, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has taken note of the serious allegation. He has asked the national carrier to take immediate steps to address the issue.
Responding to the letter, Suresh Prabhu on Twitter wrote, “Asked Air India CMD to immediately address the issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee”.
The air hostess has asked the government to appoint a ‘neutral’ investigation committee to look into the incident.
Media reports suggested that the Ministry of WCD too has taken cognisance of the matter, which will be further investigated.
The victim narrated her ordeal in the letter but didn’t mention the name of the offender. In the letter, the woman mentioned that she is an air hostess working at a senior position for Air India and is also a single mother.
Recounting the horror, the victim wrote that “This ‘predator’ has ‘sexually propositioned’, ‘abused’, and also used abusive language”.
The woman describing the accused as a “predator” said that he is “equal, if not worse, than Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood film maker” charged with sexual misconduct by leading actresses.
“This senior executive is a predator and has sexually propositioned me, abused me, used abusive languages on other women in my presence, spoken of sexual acts with me and other women in my presence in office premises.
“He has insulted me and denied me positions and privileges after I rejected his advances and he had made my life a misery at work and continues to do so,” she wrote in her letter.
The victim added that he spoke of “sexual acts” with her and also other women in her presence. He also discriminated against her for rejecting his overtures. The woman alleged that women were often forced to drink with him, and on refusing they would be denied several positions at the workplace which they deserved.
The letter says the victim was being tortured for years and shockingly there were concerted efforts by senior executives and the women’s committee to protect the accused.
The victim wrote: “My hope now lies in your office. I believe in our beloved Prime Minister’s call of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” – and I am sure that after educating beti, you won’t let such a grave injustice happen to her at the workplace.”
No FIR in the case has been registered yet.