Women’s panel head sacked for complaining against Chhattisgarh minister
Raipur: A senior
minister in Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh is in the midst of a
controversy after a woman, who heads a committee against sexual harassment, was
sacked by Panchayat and Rural Development Department after she complained
against his alleged “indecent and inappropriate” behaviour with newly appointed
officers of Panchayat bodies.
Dr Manjeet Kaur Bal, a
faculty trainer at Thakur Pyarelal Panchayat and Rural Development Institute,
claimed that she was sacked after she complained against Panchayat and Rural Development
Minister Ajay Chandrakar’s behavior towards chief executive officers (CEO) of Janpad
Panchayats, including nine women.
Chandrakar reacted to
the complaint saying, “I have no idea about the issue. As far as faculty
trainer's termination is concerned, I can't comment as it's an administrative
decision by the department concerned.”
“On April 7, panchayat
minister Chandrakar asked the recently appointed CEOs to his official residence
for an evening meeting. The trainees returned and complained to me that
minister's behavior was indecent, obscene and offensive and the women felt
extremely unsafe,” Bal said in a letter sent to the Prime Minister's office.
“As the chairperson of
Vishaka committee against harassment of women at workplace, I felt it was my
duty to immediately inform senior officials of panchayat and rural development,”
In her complaints sent
to National Women’s Commission, PMO, chief minister and others, the woman
trainer said she received a notice on August 10 terminating her services from
August 20 on the charge that she was ineligible for the post. She also alleged
that she was targeted and victimized for raising voice against the minister.