SKIMS administration reshuffles staff to cover “#MeToo” incident, turns complainant as accused

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Srinagar: In a bizarre incident, SKIMS administration lead by its Director has reshuffled 17 employees out of the blue to cover up a “#MeToo” incident.

A few days back, the Director turned complainant lady employee of the institute as accused by issuing her transfer order.

The lady employee, working as pharmacist in the institute had submitted a complaint against her male colleague namely Naseer Ahmed Reshi for gender-based harassment.

Though the authorities at the institute took several months to look into the matter, it was a shock to the complainant when she was handed over her transfer order to some other department in the institute. The accused has been let off by simply transferring him to a convenient place in the institute.

It seems that the complainant, who did not wish to be identified, is being punished for pursuing her case before the women harassment committee of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences – the most reputed territiary care hospital of the valley.

The case was lodged by the complainant with the work place women harassment committee in the year 2017 under the tenure of Director SKIMS Dr Ahangar.

However, an inquiry committee set up to probe the allegations took several months before the case was finally exposed in media.

Following pressure from media, the inquiry committee submitted its report only yesterday leaving witnesses as well as complainant shocked about the bizarre decision.

The order reads that the complainant as well as the harasser stand transferred in the interest of administration w.e.f 10th October 2018.

The complainant said that she is in a state of shock since this order has been passed. It clearly suggests that it’s actually victim who has been punished in disguise of harasser.

“This seems complete violation of guidelines of Vishaka Committee regarding work place harassment which clearly recommends that accused should be shifted from the department the day the complaint is received. No women employee in SKIMS will ever come forward or dare to speak about the work place harassment,” said the complainant.

We tried to contact Director SKIMS, however, his PA received the call after making several calls saying, Director was unavailable.

We tried to call Dr Mudassir, the Head of the Committee and Medical Superintendent but none of these people received our phone calls.

This poses a question on the nature of seriousness carried by the heads of such a big institution. Evading of responsibility itself means denial of rights. How can we expect justice from such people who are occupying the highest seats of authority? (CNS)

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