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Mumbai: Sexually harassed, 12 women staff lodge complaint in KEM

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 - 8:09am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Fed up with a male colleague’s alleged harassment, twelve female staff members of the BMC-run KEM hospital and medical college have filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. The female technicians at the Central Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory (CCBL) at KEM Hospital filed the complaint with the head of the Biochemistry department, Dr Sucheta Dandekar, against senior technician Ashok Bhokre, last month.

“Bhokre makes snide comments. He takes pictures of us in the department and behaves rudely.

He purposely misbehaves with us and passes personal comments on how we dress and what we wear. His comments are unacceptable and unwarranted. He misbehaves frequently with women in the department,” said one of the complainants.

In his forties, Bhokre has been working in the CCBL for eighteen years, said hospital sources.

“He is a senior employee with over eighteen years of work behind him. He drinks alcohol habitually and is inebriated at work sometimes,” said the source.

The female staff members have alleged that Bhokre has been harassing them since August.

However, they united to file a complaint against him only three weeks ago. Dr Dandekar, whom they turned to, sent a letter to the hospital management authorities. Eventually, the complaint was referred to the hospital’s local complaints committee and an inquiry was instituted.

“After the local complaints committee submits the inquiry report, the hospital’s anti-sexual harassment committee will probe the matter according to the Vishakha guidelines,” said a senior doctor, who is also the hospital’s anti-sexual harassment panel member.

Interestingly, the hospital management issued transfer orders to Bhokre on October 23. “He was ordered to continue work in the Pathology department. His services at CCBL department were discontinued,” said the senior doctor.

However, a letter written by Dr Dandekar to the dean on November 27,  which was accessed by dna, states that Bhokre refused to accept the transfer orders and continues to work unhindered in the CCBL department. Also, the female staffers at the CCBL department are miffed at the slow pace of inquiry. “There has been a complaint and the anti-sexual harassment committee will probe the matter,” said Dr AK Gvalani, acting dean at KEM Hospital in Parel.

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