KOLKATA, West Bengal — On August 9 this year, a Times Network employee said she received a phone call from Srivathsan S, the head of Human Resources at Times Network, informing her that she was being fired for non-performance.
On the call, the employee said, she told Srivathsan she had been sexually harassed for years, and in at least one instance physically assaulted by Times Network’s Managing Director Anand MK. The employee noted that a week previously, on August 2, she had called Anand’s wife and told her that Anand had sexually harassed her for years.
Speaking to HuffPost India, the employee said, that rather than investigate her allegations against Anand, Times Network filed a complaint against the employee for “criminal intimidation and blackmail”.
On August 27, the woman filed a First Information Report at a police station in Mumbai. In the FIR, which HuffPost India has reviewed and translated from Marathi to English, the woman laid out her allegations in detail, listing several instances of inappropriate touching, forcible kissing, groping and verbal harassment over several years starting in 2008 and continuing right up to earlier this year. In her police complaint, the woman said that Anand repeatedly asked her to have sex with him and to send her nude photographs, and her career suffered when she refused.
HuffPost India is not naming the woman as Indian laws restrain media houses from identifying survivors of sexual assault.
The woman told HuffPost India that she suffered this harassment for years without filing a formal complaint as she was a single mother struggling to raise a young child. Now, she said, she had chosen to speak up and go to the police as, she felt, Times Network was not taking her allegations seriously, and instead had fired her and filed a police complaint against her.
Pallavi Pareek, managing partner at Ungender, a Delhi-based advocacy group that advises on the POSH act, said Times Network’s decision to file a police...