Editor for The Times of India in Hyderabad KR Sreenivas has been sent on an "administrative leave" after seven women petitioned the national daily to take action in light of the sexual misconduct allegations him. According to The News Minute's report, in an email to its employees, The Times of India has stated that in its commitment to provide "all colleagues with a safe and conducive work environment which is free of sexual harassment", the management is looking into the complaints against Sreenivas and that for a "fair and impartial inquiry" to be conducted in the matter, he has been sent on an "administrative leave" till the completion of the same.
Firstpost called Sreenivas for his reaction but the former editor refused to comment. Sreenivas said that he had nothing new to add in his defence. In an earlier statement to Firstpost, Sreenivas had said, "TOI has said the charge would be investigated by its committee against sexual harassment. A highly empowered and accessible committee under this policy and under the law is in place to investigate and address all allegations of sexual harassment. The group is headed by a senior woman executive. I will submit myself to the investigation."
On Monday, seven women had written to The Times of India, accusing Sreenivas of sexual misconduct and asked for the termination of his employment with the newspaper with "immediate effect". The petition attached screenshots and annexures, of survivors' accounts, and laid out how there was a power play involved in almost all of them. It added that the women who have come out with the accusations have done so staking both their personal and professional lives, The News Minute reported.
Earlier, amidst the #MeToo movement on social media, several women had accused Sreenivas of sending inappropriate messages and making sexually laden gestures which led them to mental trauma. Journalist Sandhya Menon accused Sreenivas, of inappropriately touching her when he was dropping her home one night in 2008. “I went to the committee for sexual harassment at BCCL (Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd — TOI's parent company) to figure out what I need to do and the woman who headed it (I forget her name) told me she knew Sreeni for a long time and it's unlikely he'd do something like that,” she wrote on Twitter. After Sandhya's tweets, more women came out with their stories of having suffered sexual harassment at the hands of Sreenivas.
Author Vani Saraswathi mentioned in her account that whenever she went for assignments with Sreenivas "he would slide back in his seat and press himself against her on the bike". Whereas another journalist Pavitra Jayaraman wrote on Twitter that Sreenivas would ask her: "Why don't you come over sometime. My wife is not in town."
Responding to these allegations, Sreenivas had told Firstpost, “TOI has said the charge would be investigated by its committee against sexual harassment. A highly empowered and accessible committee under this policy and under the law is in place to investigate and address all allegations of sexual harassment. The group is headed by a senior woman executive. I will submit myself to the investigation.”
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Updated Date: Oct 09, 2018 12:27:14 IST