Greenpeace India chief, officer quit for botching abuse case

Greenpeace India chief, officer  quit for botching abuse case

Heads have rolled in Greenpeace India with its two top officials resigning from their positions following improper handling of two sexual harassment cases.

Executive Director Samit Aich and Programme Director Divya Raghunandan put in their papers following an internal review of the organisation's handling of the cases, a statement on Greenpeace India's website said.

"Aich offered his resignation to the Greenpeace India Board, and it was accepted...Separately, Raghunandan has resigned from the organisation," it said. In the statement, the board made clear their "appreciation" to Aich for 11 years of dedicated service to Greenpeace India. 

The board also decided to commission a full, independent audit of how Greenpeace India dealt with the sexual harassment cases to strengthen the internal processes to ensure a safe working environment for women. Two interim co-executive directors have been appointed. "They are current Greenpeace staff members Vinuta Gopal and Sanjiv Gopal. Their appointments are with full mandate and support while the board starts the process of recruiting a new executive director," the statement said.

Earlier, Greenpeace India has terminated the services of its two employees – one involved in a number of harassment cases while the second one was involved in a case of rape of a colleague.

The issue came in public domain earlier this month when one of the former employees posted in a web forum that she had to leave her job in 2013 after being sexually harassed and raped by her colleague. There were allegations that the NGO did not take proper action against the perpetrators. It had earlier tendered an unconditional apology for the way it handled the case.

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