Following allegations of sexual harassment against Nellore Government General Hospital Superintendent Dr Prabhakar by a woman student, the Andhra Pradesh government formed a three-member committee to conduct a probe into the allegations on June 5, Friday. The committee comprises Nellore AC Subba Reddy Medical College principal Dr Sambasiva Rao and two other senior doctors. Health Minister Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas has further directed the Director of Medical Education Dr M Raghavendra Rao to submit a report on this issue.
Warning of serious action on the erring official, the Minister assured of measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents, according to The Hans India. Parallelly, another investigation by an independent committee by district officials, comprising Zilla Parishad CEOs, Integrated Child Development Services Project Director and other officials, is being conducted.
On June 5, an audio conversation between Dr Prabhakar and the survivor was released to the media. The conversation revealed that the Superintendent has been behaving inappropriately with the student at the workplace and making sexual advances despite the student resisting his efforts and clearly saying ‘No.’ The Superintendent harassed several women students, according to the survivor.
He would allegedly constantly harass the victim by calling her regularly, asking her to meet him in his room, at beaches and in restaurants. Subsequently, she blocked him too and he continued to persist. In the conversation, the survivor confronts him and asks for an apology, and Dr Prabhakar does not deny the charges but refuses to apologize and acknowledge the harassment, brushing it off saying, “It’s over, let’s leave it.”
Responding to the incident, AP Women’s Commission Chairperson Vasireddy Padma reportedly said that the incident was unfortunate. She spoke to Nellore District Collector about the incident, and further asked the survivors of sexual harassment to come forward and testify against the Superintendent without any fear. She also asked the Principal Secretary of Health to probe the incident.