Inmates of a Coimbatore women’s hostel had alleged that the owner and warden had behaved inappropriately with them.

Kovai cops demand CCTV footage from womens hostel after sexual harassment complaintPixabay
news Crime Sunday, August 05, 2018 - 17:08

The Coimbatore police have asked for the CCTV footage of a ladies’ hostel to ascertain if the inmates were bothered by the warden asking for sexual favours.

On July 23, parents of a few women in the Darshana Working Women’s hostel in Coimbatore approached the police alleging that Jagannathan, the owner of the hostel and Punitha, the warden had behaved inappropriately with the women. The issue was brought to the limelight by the parents, when the young women were taken to a restaurant in Coimbatore to celebrate the owner’s birthday. They had alleged that the Jagannathan and Punitha had asked them to drink liquor. They had also claimed that the owner had later made a WhatsApp call to the warden and told the women that he would book rooms in a hotel if they wanted to rest for a while. The hostel has since been shut down by the authorities.

Two days after the police complaint, Jagannathan allegedly killed himself near Alankulam in Tirunelveli district on July 25.

Punitha, who went into hiding, surrendered before the magistrate on August 1 and has been remanded to judicial custody until August 14

The police have sought CCTV camera footage from the hostel premises to see if there is proof of the allegedly inappropriate behaviour by the warden and the owner.

Speaking to TNM, the investigating officer said, “We are also in talks with the District Social Welfare department to arrange for a meeting with hostel owners and wardens in the city. The legal guidelines to establish and run a working women’s hostel, the procedure to be followed to bring it under the ambit of law etc will be discussed in the meeting.”

An employee from the District Social Welfare office in Coimbatore told TNM that the attendees of the meeting will get a detailed table of guidelines to manage hostels in Coimbatore according to the legal requirements.

“We haven’t decided the dates yet. We are still deliberating on who all to call for the meeting and the agenda for it. Once we decide and set the ball rolling, we will strictly see that nobody breaks the law when it comes to hostels,” he said.

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