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Hospital sex abuse slur

Calcutta, July 27: The head of the anaesthesiology department of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute today filed a police complaint accusing the hospital’s medical superintendent of “sexual harassment”.

Sadhana Saha submitted the complaint against Jahar Majumder at Gariahat police station around 8.30 pm. The 57-year-old, who is also in charge of the institute’s preventive oncology wing, was accompanied by close friends and relatives.

In her complaint, Saha alleged that Majumder “made several attempts to outrage my modesty by using criminal force and violence. He made (sic) sexual harassment in workplace at hospital. He is putting mental pressure on me which is hampering my job…. For this constant torture and torment beyond my bearing level, I informed the matter to the director of the hospital….”

Saha said Majumder visited her Gariahat home “on several occasions” at “odd hours”. “At first, he used to visit on the pretext of official work, but gradually I could feel that his subsequent visits was (sic) intended for obvious reasons and not official,” she said in her complaint.

“He thereafter tortured and harassed me physically, taking advantage of the circumstances and at times under threats since I was living alone at that time.”

Saha told police she remained quiet for a long time hoping that the superintendent would “rectify himself” and also because of her “social position”.

Saha refused comment when contacted after her return from the police station. Her family members said she was “extremely disturbed” and had said “whatever she wanted to say in the police complaint”.

Confirming the complaint, Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner (south), said the police would “thoroughly investigate” the case.

Majumder also declined to comment on the accusation. “I will first have to find out what are the exact charges against me before saying anything,” he told The Telegraph.

On July 17, Saha had submitted a written complaint against Majumder to the institute’s director, Indira Chakraborty. But the director left for a work-related trip abroad the following day and could not take any action. She is expected back shortly.

Although the institute is under the central government, Saha also sent copies of her complaint to Bengal health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra and C.R. Maiti, the director of medical education of the state government. “Even though the hospital administration is in the hands of the central government, we will, nonetheless, look into Saha’s complaint,” Maiti said.

At least 50 per cent of the institute’s governing body is represented by state officials. Besides, Mishra is the alternative chairperson of the institute which has the Union health minister as its chairperson.

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