The Telegraph
Friday , June 6 , 2014
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Molest finger at ECL officer
- Widow alleges transfer threat

Durgapur, June 5: A young widow who works in Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) in Burdwan today lodged complaints with police and the management accusing a colliery manager of molesting her repeatedly and making indecent proposals.

The 30-year-old lady, who got a job on compensatory grounds in the personnel department of the Lachipur colliery in Andal four years after her husband died in a road accident in 2005, said the manager used to call her to his chamber for “no reason” and touch her.

She also alleged that the manager, Ajay Bhattacharya, had threatened to transfer her if she did not accompany him on an official trip.

Bhattacharya denied the charges against him and said the lady was trying to malign him.

“The manager calls me to his chamber without any reason and makes me sit in front of him for long. He touches me on lame excuses and makes indecent proposals. This has been happening for months,” the lady, who works as a clerk, said.

“Unable to bear the situation any more, I lodged complaints with the ECL management, the sub-divisional officer and the police,” said the lady, who lives at her parents’ home with her nine-year-old son.

Her husband, who was a miner, had died in a road accident on his way to work nine years ago.

The lady said manager Bhattacharya had “misbehaved” with her after he joined the colliery in 2012, but had apologised after she complained to the management.

“In 2012, the manager had asked me to accompany him on a tour and threatened to transfer me if I did not agree. I refused and brought the matter to the notice of the ECL management. However, I withdrew the complaint after he apologised,” the lady said.

Bhattacharya, 50, said the allegations against him were baseless. He said the complaint against him was made by the lady because he had told her he would transfer her as she had been working in the same mine for five years.

But the ECL today said there was no stipulation on the maximum number of years anyone worked in one mine.

“She is trying to malign me because I had told her that I would transfer her as she had been working at the same mine for five years,” he said.

“The allegations against me are baseless. I did not make any indecent proposal to anybody,” the manager added.

ECL officials, however, said the company did not have any rule stipulating the maximum time for which an employee would be posted in a colliery.

“We have received the complaint and had started an investigation,” said Tapas Pal, the officer in charge of Andal police station.

Director (technical) of ECL, Niladri Roy, said the lady’s complaint had been forwarded to the company’s committee for sexual harassment. An inquiry has been started, he added.