Pachauri as Sexual Harasser an "Open Secret" in TERI, Claims Another Victim
NEW DELHI: Already in the soup for a sexual harassment case, RK Pachauri, the newly appointed vice- chairman of The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), has been accused by another colleague now who claims that she too was harassed by Pachauri in 2003 when she worked at the institute.
The complainant, in her 20s then, said that she worked as a junior colleague at the institute and dealing with Pachauri wasn’t a part of her job but the latter made sure that she talked to him, and would call her in his office to talk about things which didn’t even relate to the work.
She said that Pachauri’s sexual harassment of the other girl is an “open secret” within the institute and termed him a “sexual harasser”. “He would travel very often but whenever he was back at the TERI building, he would go floor to floor and pass by cabins and work stations, winking at women and chatting with them,” she told the Indian Express. She said that in her case the harassment didn’t stop till she quit the job.
“He had renamed me with a sexually suggestive nickname. He said that this was a derivative of my official name and suited me far better. Pachauri would use the excuse of work assignments to repeatedly call me to his office room, even though there was no real work that he needed to discuss. This made me feel very uncomfortable and I used to try to dodge some meetings or ask my colleagues to go for the meetings,” she said in a statement released to the media.
According to the complainant, she has been contact with her counsel Vrinda Grover since last year February but her complaint hasn’t yet formally been registered. However, Grover said the victim will meet police officers, “only under the law which requires police to meet the victims at an appropriate place and not the police station.”
Meanwhile, protests have erupted at the TERI University against the declaration that Pachauri will be present at their convocation ceremony which is going to happen in March, and will be felicitating the students. Many current students and alumni of the university have expressed their anger the promotion of Pachauri and have have said in a statement issued that they would not be receiving their degrees from him and won’t attend even the ceremony if he’s present. But as per the fresh news, Pachauri has gone on leave and won’t be available at the time of the ceremony.