‘Saseendran Harassed Me Many Times, I Recorded the Calls’: Journo

The woman journalist says Mangalam TV CEO stopped her from filing a complaint.

The woman journalist, accused of ‘honey trapping’ Saseendran has now approached the court, alleging that the former Minister harassed her multiple times, and even flashed her on one occasion.

But while she says she wanted to file a complaint against him, her employer – the CEO of Mangalam TV – asked her not to do so as it would affect the launch of the channel.

The 29-year-old woman journalist, who works at Mangalam TV's Thiruvananthapuram office approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate court on Wednesday.

In her five-page statement, she talks about an incident where she wanted to meet Saseendran for an interview, and after a rescheduling, the minister insisted that she come to his house at 3 pm that day.

She says that when she reached the minister's official residence a little past 3:30 pm, she was directed to go to the first floor of the house to meet him.

The woman journalist I went in my office car along with my crew. When I reached the house, only I went in. I found Saseendran sitting with his legs on top of a table. He asked me to sit right opposite him. When I did, he kept looking at me for a long time, and said that I was beautiful and asked me how old I was. When I said I was 29, he asked me whether I would go with him on a foreign trip. I can even cover stories in Sri Lanka if I go with him, he said. When I told him that I had come to take his interview for the KSRTC story, he said that can wait.

She claimed that the minister then came toward her, kept his hands over her shoulder, and said that the “beautiful girl” can ask for anything.

The woman then describes in detail how Saseendran allegedly harassed her.

The minister later called her on the phone and said that what she did was not right, she said in her statement.

But when she informed the channel CEO about the incident, and told him she wanted to file a complaint with the women’s commission, he asked her to wait, she says in her affidavit.

Woman JournalistThe CEO told me that if I file a complaint, my name would appear in newspaper reports and that it was not desirable, considering that the new channel was to be launched soon. He promised that we will take up the matter if the minister continues his actions.

In her statement, she says that she called the minister and told him she would file a complaint against him. However, Saseendran apologised to her, and asked her not to do so. But a few days later, he started calling her at odd hours despite her asking him not to, she alleged.

The calls had sexual undertones, the journalist claimed, and she complained to the channel CEO once again. This time, her colleague and senior journalist Jayachandran was informed about the matter, she says.

Woman JournalistWhen Jayachandran asked me if I had any proof, I told him that I had recorded the conversations and handed him the phone. Though I requested that I want to go live when the clip was being aired, I was not given permission.

“My life is in danger, I need protection. I was scared to even step out of my house. That's why I have filed my complaint so late. I didn't want to file a police complaint, since the accused is a minister, a powerful man,” she wrote in her statement.

(The story first appeared on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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