Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday ordered a probe into the sexual harassment allegations made by an attendant in the Jamnagar’s designated Covid care government GG hospital and formed a three-member committee to investigate.
A woman attendant on Tuesday had alleged that female attendants were being pressured by the hospital management to have physical relationship with them in order to continue their services.
The Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said, “The Gujarat CM had received such complaints that the female attendants were pressured to have physical relationships with their supervisors through WhatsApp chats. Such kind of sexual harassment won’t be tolerated by the state government anywhere in Gujarat and those who are found to be involved in this won’t be spared and dealt with the strictest action. After discussions in the cabinet meeting held today, the Gujarat Chief Minister has ordered for a three-member committee to probe this incident.”
The Gujarat Chief Minister on Wednesday instructed the Jamnagar district collector, Ravi Shankar and the health commissioner Jaiprakash Shivhare to form the committee which will comprise of the Assistant Collector, the Assistant Superintendent of Police and the Dean of the Medical College, Jamnagar.
The row erupted at the GG Hospital in Jamnagar on Tuesday when a female attendant alleged to the media that they were sexually harassed by their managers. She alleged that they were pressured to have physical relationship with them or else were shown the door.
“We didn’t get wages and we’re being fired without any notice. The girls are pressured to maintain physical relationships with managers and should they deny they’re shown the door,” said the female attendant.
The hospital management, however, denied having any such complaints reaching them. Dr Dharmesh Vasavda, the in-charge medical superintendent of the hospital said on Tuesday, “We never received any written complaint regarding such allegations or the type of allegations that the girl attendant is making prior going to the press. We’ll ask her to submit a proper complaint prior to taking any action.”
“We will be submitting our report to the committee. Right now, we are carrying our inquiry on this,” Ravi Shankar told the reporters on Wednesday after the formation of the committee.
“We had initially recruited 250 such attendants before March and thereafter during Covid-19 second wave peak, 570 more had been recruited,” added Shankar.
These attendants were assigned to treat individuals by giving them food, water and assist the nursing staff when needed. A majority of these attendants had been recruited post second wave of Covid-19 situation in March-April, but since the amount of coronavirus cases diminished, the hospital management began relieving them.