After THiNK, now sexual harassment at IFFI

PTI, PANAJI | 22 November 2013 20:58 IST

Days afer the Tehelka episode, an allegation of sexual harassment has hit the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) after a Delhi-based student, working as a programmer at the festival, complained against a senior official.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student has in her complaint, lodged with IFFI director Shankar Mohan, accused the senior festival officer of making lewd suggestions by indirectly asking for sexual favours.

"On the night of November 16, 2013, lewd suggestions were made by the said person in the form of indirectly asking for sexual favours," the 25-year-old girl said in her complaint lodged on November 17.


"As a result of the incident, I feel harassed and highly offended. Hence I would like to report this matter under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013," she said.

She was in Goa at the IFFI venue on an assignment to assist the Soul of Asia and World Cinema sections of the festival.

The girl has accused the deputy director-ranked officer of inviting her to his cabin at the Old Goa Medical College building late in the evening.

"Drinks karne chalna hai, drinks bhi karenge aur sab kuch karna hai (Lets go for a drink, lets drink and do everything)," the complaint quotes the officer as saying.

The victim said that the officer repeated his comments even after she made her uneasiness over his advances clear.

Along with the sexual harassment complaint, the girl has also told the festival director that the officer allegedly misused the CCTV monitoring facility in his cabin for voyeuristic pleasure as the cameras were installed at a place where women were employed.

After the complaint was filed, the IFFI directorate formed a three-member committee comprising Nirupama Kotru, director (films) with Union information and broadcasting ministry, and two other women officials associated with the festival.

"I was asked to depose before the committee and told them what had happened," the girl, who has since resigned and left the IFFI venue, told PTI over phone from Delhi.

"The officer verbally apologised before the committee, but he did not mean the apology. There was no written apology from him and the committee informed me that the matter was settled as they have made some recommendations," she said.

The girl, who said that she felt deeply traumatised by the event, informed her family in Delhi who asked her to return home. She left Goa on Monday.

Repeated attempts to reach the festival director and Kotru met with no response. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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