The Congress and the entire ecosystem had come out blaming the BJP when minister for external affairs, Sushma Swaraj was trolled by social media users alleged to be BJP supporters. However, in what exposes how women are treated in the most disgraceful manner within the Congress, an FIR has been registered by the Delhi police against Chirag Patnaik, a member of the Congress IT cell on a complaint made by a female member of the IT cell. The FIR has been registered under section 354A and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. These are very serious charges under the Penal Code. While section 354A deals with sexual advances, sexually coloured remarks, demanding sexual favours, etc., section 509 of the code deals with words, gestures and acts intended to assault the modesty of a woman. The complaint by the victim woman belonging to the Congress IT cell was made in June 2018.
The @DelhiPolice has registered FIR against one Chirag Patnaik, member of Congress IT cell, under section 354-A and 509 at North Avenue police station after a complaint was filed by a woman member of the IT cell.
— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) July 3, 2018
Not only this, it seems that even the Congress leadership was in the know about the harassment but chose not to take appropriate action. It has come to light that letters had been written to party President, Rahul Gandhi who remained silent even after being informed about the harassment of a female member of his party’s IT cell.
In her letter to Rahul Gandhi on June 28, she has narrated her ordeal and how even Congress IT cell head, Divya Spandana, did not come to her rescue after being informed how Patnaik had been indulging in highly inappropriate conduct with the victim. In her complaint to the Delhi police, the victim stated that she had joined the social media cell of the Congress on March 5, 2018. Being hired as a “social media manager”, her main task was to run the official twitter handle of the Congress (@INCIndia) and the communications handle (@INCSandesh). She used to report directly to the IT cell head, Divya Spandana but she was also required to work in close co-ordination with her aide, Chirag Patnaik, who also manages the Congress social media cell. She stated that her job was to run the official tweets by Patnaik before posting them. She painfully recalled how her life was made miserable during her second term at the Congress social media office due to misconduct and immoral behaviour on Patnaik’s part. According to the victim, Chirag Patnaik frequently violated her personal space. On the pretext of checking tweets, Patnaik used to encircle her from behind, get too close for comfort and exhale upon her skin. She further stated that they sat beside each other in the office and there was a platform of drawers between them on which Patnaik used to rest his legs in the most insulting manner. Despite repeated indications of disapproval by the victim, the accused Congress IT cell member continued with his disgusting conduct.
#EXCLUSIVE — CNN-News18 has accessed Congress social media employee's letter to Rahul Gandhi on June 28, listing details of harassment. Chirag Patnaik violated my personal space, says employee | @TanushreePande with more details pic.twitter.com/4F2IG8xNJA
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 3, 2018
The victim has also brought to notice the irresponsible role played by Spandana and how Patnaik enjoyed her total support. On May 14, Spandana had refused to listen to victim’s ordeals and causes of her stress and also ignored complaints about Patnaik’s misconduct. Instead she praised the victim’s dedication but publicly humiliated her later. The victim, fed up and extremely stressed by how she was constantly harassed submitted her resignation on May 17 which was neither accepted nor rejected by Divya Spandana.
I have been told Congress pressurising victim to retract by calling her up & forming some eyewash committee
RG was silent pic.twitter.com/Jr1g7CpIdG
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) July 3, 2018
There is no word strong enough to describe the sad state of affairs at a national political party which ignores the brazen harassment of women. It is extremely painful and saddening not only because a woman’s dignity was violated by a party member but also because the party chief and the IT cell chief were apprised of the sad state of affairs but they chose to remain silent. When Rahul Gandhi’s incompetence had come to the fore for the first time in 2014 in an interview with journalist Arnab Goswami, Gandhi had expressed the desire to empower the women of this country (even though his reply was vague and misleading). Is this how Rahul Gandhi proposes to empower women? By condoning the harassment of women in Congress offices? This is the real face of the Congress which has been attacking the BJP every now and then on the issues of women empowerment and safety.