Four lab technicians of the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad were arrested by the Chilkalguda police for allegedly sexually harassing the trainees at the lab.
The accused were identified as Anthony Sebastian, (53), Mohammed Akram, (47), Mandalam Durga Das, (36), and Jannu Madhu Babu, (30).
The victims alleged that the accused used to touch them inappropriately, force them into office rooms, invite them for private dinners and sexually harass them in many different ways.
The Times of India reported that post-graduate students and those pursuing Medical Lab Technology (MLT) course had to visit the lab at Gandhi Hospital to undergo compulsory training. However, sixteen students had approached Hospital Superintendent Dr Shravan Kumar, in August 2017, with complaints of sexual harassment.
â€œBased on that, an inquiry committee was constituted with professors and heads of department of the hospital to investigate further. A report was submitted by the committee in September that confirmed the sexual harassment by the technicians," North Zone DCP B Sumathi told mediapersons.
"During the course of the investigation, the police examined 14 witnesses and established a prima facie case against the four employees and arrested them all on Friday," she added.
"The accused had threatened to fail the victims, including the postgraduate medical students, if they complain about the sexual harassment. The victims were worried about their career and employee lobby support. As a result, they had to directly approach police," an investigating officer told ToI.
DCP B Sumathi also said that victims of workplace harassment should step up and speak, as the police would take personal responsibility to ensure that their identity was not revealed.
The police case has been registered under Sections 354 (making sexually coloured remarks), 354-A and 354-D (following a woman and attempting to contact woman to foster personal interaction), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman), of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).