The complaints were filed against one inspector-in charge of the telecommunications department in Kasaragod.

Our husbands facing workplace harassment Wives of 12 cops in Kerala file complaintImage for representation only
news Workplace harassment Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 09:14

In a case of alleged workplace harassment, the wives of at least 12 Kasaragod police officers have complained to the women’s commission alleging that their husbands face workplace harassment at the hands of a superior.

Six out of the 12 women who complained also attended the sitting session of the Kerala Women’s Commission (KWC) on Monday. All of the complaints were against one particular inspector-in-charge of the telecommunications wing in Kasaragod.

In their complaints, the women have alleged that the accused inspector, who has 28 officers working under him, allegedly harassed the officers and the officers were stressed even when they returned home after work, thus suffering from sleeplessness. 

According to one complainant, her husband was not allowed to take his father to the hospital after he had collapsed. The police officer’s father eventually died after being denied timely medical care. 

In another complaint, one woman alleged that her husband was not allowed to leave work even after he collapsed while on duty. Complaints have also stated that two officers from the team sought a transfer and left after being unable to manage the harassment and mental pressure they faced at the hands of the inspector. 

The women’s complaints were recorded by KWC member Shahida Kamal during the sitting sessions (adalat) of the commission. According to reports, the accused inspector was summoned for evidence collection on Monday, but failed to turn up. The KWC member who handled the case even personally turned up at the district police headquarters to meet the accused inspector in his officer. However, she could not meet him there as well. 

The accused inspector has been summoned on January 24, 2020 by the commission. Meanwhile, a detailed probe and a report has been sought from the Additional Superintendent of Police into the workplace harassment allegations submitted by the officers’ wives. 

“This is the first time that the commission has received such a massive complaint, although we have received isolated workplace harassment complaints in the past,” KWC member Shahida Kamal told The Hindu. 

Meanwhile, the accused inspector reacted to the complaints against him stating that he could not compromise on his work. According to the inspector, the officers had raised complaints with superiors in the past. However, the complaints had been dismissed after investigations into them were found to be baseless. He said that officers making major mistakes will be reported and exceptions cannot be given in this regard.