Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel
Minister of Culture
Ms. Nirupama Kotru,
Joint Secretary - Ministry of Culture
Mr Arijit Dutta Chowdhury,
UPDATE: 03 Feb 2020
Collective pressure from Jhatkaa.org members like you led the Indian Museum, Kolkata to start the Internal Complainants Committee (ICC) proceedings for the sexual harassment survivor in November 2019.
That’s not all! The Ministry of Culture intervened and reconstituted the ICC according to POSH guidelines. This was a hard-won victory!
However, after just one hearing with the complainant, the ICC has abruptly stopped the proceedings. They have not informed her of their reasons, and stopped all communications.
This is a direct violation of reglations in the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act (POSH).
The ICC is required to complete its investigation within 90 days of the complaint, and send its report to the complainant and accused 10 days after that. It’s already been five months since the complaint was filed.
Ask Indian Museum’s newly appointed director Arijit Dutta Chowdhury why the ICC proceedings were stopped midway
Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace - Ministry of Women and Child Development
UPDATE: 12 Nov 2019
An Internal Complainants Commitee (ICC) was finally set up for the sexual harassment complainant from Indian Museum, Kolkata who had reached out to us in August 2019.
After garnering media attention, the complainant reached out to us for support. We were able to build pressure not only on the Indian Museum director to resign while the investigation is on, but also the Ministry of Culture to get the ICC proceedings started.
Repeated calls to the Ministry of Indian Culture, conversation with Under Secretary S.C Mondal, coordinated twitterstorm and our petition highlighted the case in the ministry and ICC was set up soon after.
UPDATE: 01 Oct 2019
The Indian Museum sexual harassment complainant is close to victory.
Media coverage, public mobilisation, Jhatkaa.org’s online petition and follow-up calls to the Ministry of Culture led to the decision of finally forming an Internal Complaints Committee. We need to keep up the pressure!
The enquiry will begin after Durga Pooja -- we have until October 8 to let the new ICC members know that we are closely following this case. Every SMS that we send to our members to call the authorities costs us money. Pitch in to help us fund this engagement!
I remember when the complainant told me that she was held by her hair and pushed out of the campus after she raised her complaint. But yesterday, she had a hopeful zeal in her voice. Let’s not stop here.
UPDATE: 25 Sept 2019
I received a call from the Ministry of Culture Under Secretary, S.C. Mondal’s Office assuring me that an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for the Indian Museum sexual harassment case is being set up.
“It’s going to take some time till we find a female officer who surpasses the rank of the accused at the Indian Museum, Kolkata.”
They are listening! They know that members like you asked for an ICC enquiry. We don’t want them to slack in their effort -- your contribution can help us continue making calls to keep up the pressure.
UPDATE: 12 Sept 2019
Good news! -- Kolkata Indian Museum’s director has been transferred to the Allahabad museum.
But is it enough? The Ministry of Culture has resorted to a convenient way to close this case, rather than following the law and initiating an Internal Complaints Committee enquiry.
The complainant has been running from pillar to post which led to mass protests against the director and extensive media coverage. She needs you to stand with her in asking for due process to be followed.
Date: 30 August 2019
“I was dragged by my hair and thrown out of the Indian Museum, Kolkata”
- Sexual harassment complainant
This is the ordeal faced by thecomplainant after she reported a sexual harassment incident by the Director of Indian Museum, Kolkata in June 2019.
“It happened when he called me in his office and asked me to insert pen drive in his computer which was right next to where he was sitting. That’s when I realised he touched me inappropriately.”
The complainant did not delay in asking for an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) enquiry and filing an FIR against the director. Kudos to her resilience and brave acts -- she has single-handedly gathered support from national media and made some noise in the ministries.
What’s shocking is that the ICC Chairperson had initially refused to even take her case. Later, the Ministry of Culture asked the director to form an ICC committee.
“First my case wasn’t even registered and now they want to form their own biased ICC. This is unfair.”
Officials at Kolkata’s Indian Museum and Ministry of Culture need to know that they cannot change ICC laws as per their convenience. Tell them we are watching and they cannot get away with disrespecting the mandate of the POSH law.
The fire ignited by the complainant has even led to a dharna outside the museum where protestors are demanding the ousting of the director.
"The director has been behaving inappropriately with his employees. And we aren’t used to this kind of behavior. Therefore, we want him to leave.”
- Sunil Kumar Thakur, General Secretary, JKKS
Organising protests, doing the rounds of police stations and facing intimidation from Indian Museum makes this fight a tough and exhausting one. Let’s tell her that we are with her as she fights for justice.
Harass charge on Indian Museum official - The Telegraph
Woman worker at Indian Museum complains of sexual harassment, brutally thrashed - India Today