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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Surat Home Guards Accuse The SO And A Woman Officer Of Harassing Them For Five Years

  • IWB Post
  •  November 3, 2018

Twenty-five women guards from the Home Guards Department on Friday, in a written complaint to the city’s police commissioner, alleged that they were harassed by a station officer (SO) and a woman officer. They alleged that have been subjected to mental, physical, emotional, and financial harassment over a period of five years.

One of the complainants Dhodu Shinde shared in an interaction with The Wire, “Some of the home guards have been pressurised to give sexual favours to superiors who show their might. Many of us have also been pressurised to work as domestic [workers] at SO Somnath Gaharwal’s house. I am one of them.”

Another home guard Mangla Narain Pandey said, “Our senior Bhavnaben openly abuses subordinates and says that they should discuss all their problems with SO Somnath Gaharwal – and if they manage to keep the SO happy, their job will be secured.”

“I was threatened to work as a domestic [worker], or else I would lose my job. I was asked by Bhavna to spend my free time with SO Somnath,” shared ” Anjana Naik. She added, “Sometimes when SO Somnath got any complaint regarding the female home guards, they were called at the parade ground. During the turn-out check-up, he tried to touch their body parts on the pretext of touching our belts, caps, and uniform. This has happened with several of us.”

Naik further shared that many of them felt threatened as Somnath had directly asked them to keep him ‘happy’, and warned them against dire consequences if they failed to do so. “He has made our lives miserable. This has been happening for long enough,” she said.

Despite the gravity of the concerns raised by these women, Police commissioner of Surat Satish Sharma refused to even meet them when they tried to approach him. The guards thus decided to meet the DCP Headquarters Vidhi Chaudhary to hand over their complaint. Chaudhary promised an inquiry into the matter.

As we hail #MeTooIndia for giving women a platform to voice their problems, is the movement even reaching the people who need it the most?

To answer this question and more, Indian Women Blog has partnered with SafecityWe have taken over their Twitter handle for a week where we are curating conversations on women’s safety and the inclusivity of #MeTooIndia. You can follow the Twitter dialogues here!

H/T: The Wire

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