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Businessman faces harass charge

Siliguri, Jan. 3: A Siliguri-based businessman who runs the franchise of a prominent courier and cargo company in the town was nabbed by the Siliguri Metropolitan Police today after a woman who worked in his office accused him of repeated sexual harassment.

The woman, a resident of East Milanpally near here, filed a complaint with the inspector-in-charge of Siliguri police station today, accusing Paresh Ghosh, the businessman, of allegedly passing lewd remarks, forcing her to watch indecent photographs and videos and also telling her to spend time with him in a hotel.

“I joined as a clerk at Paresh Ghosh’s office on September 3 last year. For the past one week, it has become tough for me to work in the office,” the woman wrote in the complaint.

“He (Ghosh) used to sit at the table next to my desk and pass lewd remarks and make indecent gestures at me. He would switch on the computer and watch blue films, indecent photographs and videos,” the woman said today.

“Yesterday, he told me to go to a hotel and spend some time with him. As I protested and told him that I would take legal steps, he threatened me, saying his wife is in the police and no one can do him any harm.”

Jyoti Maxima Tirkey, Ghosh’s wife and a sub-inspector at the state police, is posted in Siliguri police station, sources said.

According to the woman, yesterday evening, after returning home, she narrated to her husband the problems and alleged advances of Ghosh at her.

“We discussed and decided to file the complaint, which was submitted at the Siliguri police station today,” she said.

On receiving the complaint, the police arrested Ghosh from his office, which is off Bidhan Road.

Sources said in total, seven employees work there.

The other employees told The Telegraph that they have not noticed anything unusual in Ghosh’s behaviour.

“I have been working here for the past one month. During this period, I have not seen anything unusual,” said Sudipta Roy, another woman employee.

“We cannot, however, say what led to the complaint and the arrest.”

Other employees, despite murmuring assent to what Sudipta said, preferred to remain silent.

Ghosh, while talking to journalists, said the charges were baseless.

“She (the complainant) was not doing her work properly. We had also found some financial irregularities in some work in which she was involved,” he said.

“When I took up the issue with her and sought a clarification, she failed to answer. I feel she has filed the complaint to get rid of the job and malign me.”

Police officers, investigating the case, said they have slapped charges under Sections 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) on Ghosh.

“Our officials acted on the complaint and arrested the person. He has been produced in court today. We are investigating the case,” Anand Kumar, the commissioner, said.

The court has granted Ghosh bail, sources said.