Immigration officer who harassed City woman suspended

Immigration officer who harassed City woman suspended

An immigration officer was suspended on Friday for reportedly throwing sexual innuendoes at a Bengaluru-based woman at the Indira Gandhi International airport here last week. The victim was en route to Hong Kong.

Vinod Kumar, an immigration assistant, faced the ire of the Home Ministry after the victim placed a verbal complaint on March 23 on her return from Hong Kong, following which her father-in-law filed an e-complaint.

The victim’s father-in-law is a member of several business chambers based in Bengaluru.
Soon after receiving the complaint, the Home Ministry advised the victim to “lodge an FIR for appropriate criminal action” even as it promised a probe to ascertain “appropriate remedial and penal action.”

The ministry said the complaint, if true, is of “quite serious nature”.

The complainant claimed that the officer “verbally sexually harassed” his daughter-in-law

“not only during the immigration process at the desk, but also by following her along the travelator between domestic and international transfer.”

“He followed me and asked me something offensive,” the victim said. On her arrival at Delhi from Bengaluru on March 18 en route to Hong Kong, the officer reportedly made some queries, which questioned her integrity and character.

“How many children do you have? Where have you left them? You young girls have children and then don’t care and leave them with parents and do ‘majja’ with men. Do you drink, do you smoke, do you eat chicken, do you have fun with men when your husband is not there? Have you undergone surgery for birth control? (this was asked 4 times),” the complainant quoted the officer as saying.

The officer was constantly looking up while my daughter-in-law took the escalator and this has been recorded by a CCTV camera, the complainant said.

“My daughter-in-law was travelling alone and was in a state of shock to react to this situation or even register a complaint.

“So on her return from Hong Kong on March 23, she along with her husband met AFRRO Alok Kumar Verma to file a complaint,” the victim’s father-in-law added.

As he is not authorised to take complaints, Verma requested them to file it online. Then Kumar walked into Verma’s cabin and the victim identified him.

However, the complainant said that Kumar denied speaking to the victim by leaving his desk and following her on the travelator.

The victim when contaced in Bengaluru said: “I request those looking into the case to take a look at the conditions of the conversation that tool place in Alok Kumar Verma’s office (on March 22 night).

“The official in question did not deny the incident anywhere. This is proof enough to say that the official indeed made those statements against me.”

This could happen to the other staff members or to passengers. Hence strict action has to be taken in the case.

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