Sunday, October 21, 2018

Congress IT cell head Divya Spandana named in the charge sheet in Chirag Patnaik sexual harassment case

Congress IT cell head, Divya Spandana’s name has been named up in a charge sheet that was filed on Friday in the Congress sexual harassment case, in which a former party worker had accused the right-hand man of social media chief Divya Spandana of molestation at the workplace. She had also alleged that Spandana had not taken any action, but instead had “mentally harassed” her.

The court took cognizance of the case on Friday and summoned the accused Chirag Patnaik. Patnaik was arrested in July on the charges of 354A and 509 on accusations of him of breaching the woman’s personal space and indulging in immoral behaviour. He was later released on bail.

The charge sheet describes how Congress social media cell in-charge Divya Spandana refused to entertain the complainant’s grave allegations against Chirag Patnaik of frequent misbehaviour. She also called out Divya and accused her of displaying arrogant and apathetic attitude rendering the workplace intolerable for her to continue. She cited ‘psychological reasons’ for resigning. In the charge sheet, the victim has, in excruciating details, alleged that Patnaik violated her personal space at work “by coming too close to me on the pretext of checking tweets”. She further accused that Patnaik “exhaled into my breathing space whenever he encircled me from behind in an immoral manner.’ The victim also accused Chirag of “gazing at the contours of her body” in a lascivious manner.

The victim had joined the social media cell of the Congress on the March 5  as ‘social media manager’ and was entrusted the responsibility of running the official Twitter account of the Indian National Congress (@INCIndia) and its communications handle (@INCSandesh). In an interview to MyNation, she said, “The period between May 17 and May 24 was marked with mental harassment. Despite knowing I was disturbed, Miss Spandana did not correct her behaviour towards me. She humiliated me with insulting work-related messages on the official group for no fault of mine. My professionalism and manners were also questioned. I broke down inconsolably on the May 23 and never returned to the office.”

Last week, NSUI president Fairoz Khan, who is accused of seeking sexual favours, was found on posters of women’s convention.

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