Woman employee of Raj Bhavan to write to President Murmu to seek justice on molestation issue

The employee raised her objections to the public screening of unedited footage where her identity was allegedly disclosed since her face wasn't blurred.
Rashtrapati Bhawan
Rashtrapati Bhawan

Kolkata | A day after West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose screened multiple CCTV footage from Raj Bhavan, in a bid to clear the air over allegations of molestation brought against him by a contractual woman employee of the governor's house, the victim on Friday said she will seek President Droupadi Murmu's intervention into the matter.

The employee raised her objections to the public screening of unedited footage where her identity was allegedly disclosed since her face wasn't blurred.

Stating that she could not repose much hope on the Kolkata Police whose hands are tied on account of the constitutional immunity Governor Bose enjoys, the victim said she was going through severe depression and felt that writing to the President was the only recourse to justice.

"I know that because of Constitutional immunity nothing will happen to a sitting Governor. But what about the offence he committed? I have decided to write to the President seeking her intervention in the matter. I am writing to her to get justice and nothing else," the alleged victim told PTI.

Asked if she planned to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assistance regarding the incident, the woman recounted how the alleged incident occurred on the day the PM was scheduled to stay at Raj Bhavan.

"While I was in distress and protesting, PM's security personnel witnessed my anguish. Although I believe they informed Modi, I received no response from him. Writing to him now seems futile," she remarked.

The alleged victim, who holds a Masters in Computer Application (MCA), said she was contemplating seeking therapy to overcome the depression she has endured since lodging her complaint against Bose.

"I've been suffering from severe depression and humiliation. Coming from a modest background, I never imagined facing such a situation. It's been a nightmare for me and my elderly parents. I am considering meeting a psychologist for counselling to cope with this ordeal," she said.

Expressing her outrage over the screening of the footage without protecting her identity, the victim said she would also approach the police for redress.

She considered the act of screening of the May 2 CCTV footage an "insult" and accused the governor of further violating her privacy and confidentiality while lamenting the "lack of cooperation from the governor" throughout the investigation process.

"How did the governor screen my footage without my permission? He committed a new crime today," she said.

Kolkata Police had earlier confirmed that it would conduct an 'enquiry' instead of a full-fledged investigation which requires the filing of an FIR since the governor is protected under Clause 2 of Article 361 of the Constitution which grants him total immunity from criminal proceedings of any kind.

The contractual woman employee of Raj Bhavan had on Friday lodged a complaint with Kolkata Police alleging that she was molested by Bose in the governor's house on April 24 and May 2.

She criticised Bose for orchestrating a "ridiculous drama" to deflect from his actions, emphasising that he should have provided the footage to police at the outset of the investigation.

"He (the Governor) committed an ugly act. Then he staged a ridiculous drama to cover his fault. He never took my permission before releasing the footage. This is in violation of our laws since my identity should have been kept confidential," she said.

Footage from two CCTV cameras positioned at the main (north) gate, spanning from 5.32 pm to 6.41 pm on May 2, was shown to a select group of people and journalists at the Central Marble Hall on the ground floor of Raj Bhavan.

In the first footage, the employee, dressed in jeans and a top, was seen hurrying to the police outpost housed within the governor house amidst a significant number of police personnel who were deployed in the premises for the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on that day.

The second footage, which lasted for around 10 minutes, showed various vehicles including fire tenders arriving at the north gate of Raj Bhavan and policemen lining up for their regular duties. The victim, however, could not be spotted.

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