#MeToo: Maneka Gandhi Orders Probe Into Allegations Against AIR Employees
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#MeToo: Maneka Gandhi Orders Probe Into Allegations Against AIR Employees

New Delhi: Union minister of woman and child development Maneka Gandhi has asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to conduct a probe to confirm if the allegations of sexual harassments or personal misconducts are true or not. She said to the Ministry that if the allegations are true, then the Ministry should make it sure that culprits don’t go unpunished.
 
According to a report by the Indian Express, Maneka Gandhi asked for the probe after a letter written by All India Radio Casual Announcer and Comperes Union (AICACU) last week. It was written in the letter that AIR is mismanaging reports of sexual harassments when temporary or casual employees reported about the harassments then the permanent employees, against whom allegations were reported, were either just transferred or no step was taken at all.

All India Radio Casual Announcer and Comperes Union (AICACU)’s letter mentions, “casual Announcers/Comperes/Radio Jockeys of AIR” found it difficult to “raise voice against any kind of suppression, harassment, injustice caused by the officials, as they always work under fear of losing the job. Female casual workers, who complain of sexual harassment are removed from the job and their witnesses whether males or females are also targeted the same way”.

Even the credibility of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) was questioned in the letter. The letter said that ICC’s members sometimes informed to the permanent employees about their conduction of case, which raises questions about the independence and credibility of the Internal Complaint Committee.

According to the report of Indian Express, seven women confirmed that they were subjected to sexual misconduct by their seniors, mostly station heads or directors. Most of them hesitated to be named as they were afraid of the questions later raised by society.

Shanti Verma, a woman of age 43 told that Internal Complaint denied to her complaint categorically and she was dismissed of he duty some days after the result of the complaint. The accused was a station head.

Jyoti Pathania, a woman of age 45, said, “I was in the dubbing room when the lights suddenly went off. My boss Suresh Kumar pulled up a chair near me, grabbed and kissed me. I froze. Once the lights came on, I started my recording in a state of shock and he left. I finally broke down crying when the woman, who was to relieve me from my duty, arrived,”

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