The Delhi Police has booked a member of Congress' social media and digital communications team for allegedly sexually harassing a former colleague. An FIR has been filed against Chirag Patnaik under sections section 354-A (sexual harassment) and 509 (outraging the modesty of a woman), according to reports.
The Financial Express reports that BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi appealed the Delhi Police to register a case against Patnaik and make sure she is safe. In a press conference, where she dissed the report prepared by Thomson Reuters Foundation about India being the most dangerous country for woman, she also said that even Priyanka Gandhi was not safe around Congress workers. She also brought up the abetment to suicide charges against Shashi Tharoor in the Sunanda Pushkar death case.
According to the complainant's statement to the police, she accused Patnaik of "frequent violation of personal space" and "immoral behaviour".
She said that Patnaik worked under Congress' social media chief Divya Spandana, who was alerted but didn't take any action.
According to NDTV, Spandana refuted the allegations and said that they had never received a written or verbal complaint from the woman while she was in the company. In retaliation, Spandana shared the party's statement on Twitter and a list of signatures 'vouching for Patnaaik's character'.
In response to the recent allegations against one of our team workers by an ex worker, please read the statement below- pic.twitter.com/4LVa5Hzoxk— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) July 3, 2018
Spandana told reporters, "The reason stated by the ex-worker for the stepping down was due to personal reasons and health issues and not related to the worker in any manner whatsoever. The resignation letter in fact state – "I loved working here, thank you for giving me the opportunity."
The Congress statement added that the party has reached out to the former worker and till she responds they hold the accusations 'inconclusive'.