Govt’s claim to ensure secure workplace for females falls flat in Bandipora

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Nasir Khuehami

Bandipora, Nov 30: At the time when Government is making tall claims of ensuring safety of women at workplace and adopt a zero tolerance policy against harassment at workplace, the claims fall flat in Bandipora as a female employee has been moving from pillar to post to demand action against an accused co-worker but the government has been granting him concessions and prime postings.
A female teacher of Middle School Turkpora Bandipora alleged that she was harassed by a teacher in the school but instead of punishing the accused the Chief Education Officer Bandipora has been shielding him thus encouraging the harassment at workplace. The teacher has now approached District Magistrate Bandipora seeking justice. She said following the incident in 2017, the accused was attached to H/S Malangam on punishment basis with the note of caution and warring only after intervention of Chief Minster’s Grievance Cell as she received cold response from her own higher ups in school.
The victim said despite this, the department of education took a lenient view and recalled the accused teacher in pretext of a government order to a place of his interest, thus raising doubts about the intentions of the concerned officers downplaying her complaint and encouraging the accused. On feeling discriminated she approached the then Deputy Commissioner after which inquiry was initiated afresh by ACD Bandipora and following which the teacher was transferred to UPS Chanpal so that he can enjoy the benefit of Winter vacations.
However after receiving encouragement from the Education Department, the accused teacher refused to join new place of posting and remained absent from his duties with impunity. “The (accused) teacher never joined the UPS chanpal despite show cause notices from CEO Bandipora but the accused teacher didn’t comply with orders and was absconding from 01-07-2018 to 10-07-2018”.
The victim said instead of taking action against him for being absent, the CEO Bandipora again encouraged him and directed to treat the absent days of teacher as leave. “This further emboldens the alleged harasser who later approached court against DC’s order and got it stayed. “The lethargic and criminal approach adopted by CEO Office besides favoring the harasser emboldened the accused teacher who approached the court”.
“It seems that the accused teacher enjoyed impunity with full support from the officials at CEO who gave him free hand and urged him to go to the court against the Deputy Commissioner’s order and got it stayed,” she wrote in the application to DM. “By favoring the accused, I feel harassed, cheated and disrespected by my own higher ups who are supposed to be our guardians. CEO Bandipora and other subordinate officials killed the hope of justice by indulging in official trickery and now trying to transfer accused teacher to prime and interested posting instead of punishing the teacher, which disappointed me and forced me to submit this written complaint again with a hope to get justice,” the application read further.
When contacting CEO Bandipora about the case, he said he will give full details after sometime but then refused to attend the phone call. (KNS)