Samant faces another 'more serious' complaint of sexual harassment

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 26 September 2015 18:26 IST

GUJ handing over memorandum to CM

A third victim journalist has come forward with a complaint of more serious nature against senior journalist Rupesh Samant, who is charged with sexually exploiting women journalists working under him in a local cable TV channel.

The victim has alleged that Samant sexually harassed her for almost a year, since 2014.

Meanwhile, Samant has evaded two summons issued by the Women’s police station and has instead sent a lawyer with a message that he would appear before the police.

Meanwhile, Goa Union of Journalists has urged Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to provide security to complainants and hand over the case to a senior lady police officer.

Following complaints by two women journalists, a third complaint has now been filed which includes two more sections – 354 D and 509 of IPC – slapped on Samant.

As per the complaint, Samant sexually harassed the woman journalist by showing advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures, due to which section 509 IPC is applied.

Section 509 deals with ‘word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman’: “Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.”

Besides the sections 354 and 354 A applied even in earlier complaints, the police have also applied now 354 D of IPC, which deals with stalking (following her):

“(1) Any man who—

1. follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or

2. monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, commits the offence of stalking.”

Besides stating that Samant had sexually harassed her almost for one year since June last year, she has also made specific allegation of an incident on 27 May this year, at the channel office as well as River Lounge restaurant at Ribandar Patto.

Though police said Samant is required only for interrogation and not for arrest, a senior police official however told goanews.com that they would strongly oppose if he applies for anticipatory bail on Monday by evading summons.

Meanwhile, a delegation of GUJ last night met chief minister Parsekar and handed him over a memorandum with following requests:

“Given that the accused in this case is a powerful, well-connected journalist, there is every possibility that he might attempt to coerce or threaten witnesses or otherwise influence the investigation. In this regard and in the interest of justice, it is of utmost importance that there be an impartial inquiry conducted and the identities of the victims be carefully protected.

We have received reports that some elements are trying to reach out to the victim complainants.

We, the Goa Union of Journalists, would request you to hand over this sensitive case to a senior lady police officer, which will go a long way in helping the victims come forward with their complaints. We also seek that specific directions be issued to the Director General of Police to ensure that nobody threatens or obstructs the complainants and if necessary, the complainants be provided with security.”

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