Air India air hostess sexually harassed by senior airline official, ordered probe

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NEW DELHI: An Air India air hostess is sexually harassed by her senior airline official for last six years and alleged that the airline management has not acted on her complaint made last September. On Tuesday, she took to social media seeking “help” to get the airline to act. Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, following this, tweeted that he has asked AIchairman “to immediately address this issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee.”

On May 25, in a complaint sent to Prabhu the “proud single mother” air hostess claims “a senior executive over last six years has sexually harassed, tortured and discriminated against me…. this senior executive (whose name will be revealed when I meet you) is a predator and has sexually… abused me… and has tried to compel women in his office (including me) to come and drink with him at various bars and many of us have been forced to do so…. He has insulted and denied me positions and privileges after I rejected his advances… he has made my life a misery and work and continues to do so.”

She claims complaining last September to the airline management and wrote to the then chairman but no action was taken. “I used the internal processes because I did not want to attract publicity or attention… but six years of torture and nine months of tortuous delay and coverups have left me frustrated. When no action (from AI) was forthcoming, rather than filing an FIR, I appealed to the ministry who ensured that AI women’s sexual harassment committee heard the case,” she says in her complaint letter to the minister while alleging that “other women have been through this with the same senior executive.”

“Sadly the AI women’s cell did nothing… During the mockery of inquiry… the lady chairperson of the committee had to temerity to respond ‘you know how he talks. He has even flirted with me like this so many times’.”

“In any other company, this offending officer would either have been suspended or transferred out. Yet in AI, through his old boys’ club, (he) has continued to serve in the same office,” she says in her letter to Prabhu, marked Prime Minister Modi too, while seeking a meeting with the minister.

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