Srinagar: The administration of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura is attempting to hush up the sexual harassment case that Kashmir Reader reported Tuesday. Their Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sana Kulsoom denied having received any such complaint by a female employee, but the chief of the women’s harassment committee at SKIMS Soura distanced herself from the refutation, and said the committee has indeed received such a complaint.
In a statement sent to Kashmir Reader in reference to its news report, ‘SKIMS Soura sits on sexual harassment complaint for a year’, published on September 25, the SKIMS PRO said, “SKIMS has a proper Women Harassment Committee to ensure safety of women employees at work place. So far, the committee has not received any complaint from any female employee about sexual harassment. As such SKIMS deny (sic) the details as reported in your newspaper.”
The PRO added, “However, SKIMS administration assures if any such complaint is received ever from any employee, proper action will be taken.”
Dr Syed Mudasir, Convenor of the women’s harassment committee at SKIMS Soura, distanced herself from the “rebuttal” issued by the PRO. She said that the women’s harassment committee had received the “harassment complaint” recently from the administration which was submitted to them by a female employee.
“We have not reached any conclusion as yet. But, the complaint is with us. The complainant has accused her male colleague of harassment and mental torture at the work place,” Dr Mudasir said.
She refused to divulge the details about the inquiry, saying the statements and complaints were to be examined.
“I can’t tell you the details about the inquiry because we are yet to conclude it. It will take some more days to complete,” Dr Mudasir said.
In September 2017, a female employee submitted a letter to the then Director SKIMS, Dr AG Ahangar, in which she accused a senior male colleague of harassment by passing lewd comments and “tagging her name in an illicit relation” with a senior official.
After inaction on her complaint, the victim was forced to file another complaint before Dr GH Yatoo, the officer in charge of her department.
Her complaint letter, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, reads, “By creating a vicious atmosphere against me in the Department which will force me to quit my job or commit suicide, he will definitely succeed in his hidden motives. He has left no stone unturned to damage my respect and honour as is evident from the content of the representation he has forwarded against me on 29th August 2017. As he is fully aware that by playing moral degradation tactics I will be compelled to take any drastic step and he will never be a suspect in the eyes of law and administration.”
No action has been taken in the case so far, and now SKIMS is officially denying the complaint.