NIFT Hyderabad Fires 56 Housekeepers Who Accused Professor of Sexual Harassment
Representational Image (Photo: AIDS Healthcare Foundation/Flickr)

Hyderabad, June 19: In a shocking case, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Telangana's Hyderabad has fired fifty-six women housekeeping staffers after they accused a NIFT professor of sexual harassment. Some of these housekeepers have alleged that D Srinivas Reddy, a stenographer who continues to work at the institute, had sexually abused them and used vulgar language while speaking to them. The fashion institute has now told the agency to send their replacement, reported The News Minute.

The incident dates back to October last year when the supervisor of housekeeping staff lodged a complaint against Reddy for sexually harassing the employees. “Srinivas used to sexually harass women employees who would attend to his cabin. He would hold the women staff by their hips, click their photographs without consent, and invite them home to sleep with him,” says supervisor told The News Minute.

The supervisor also alleged Reddy used to come to her and ask her to send pretty and young women to his cabin. "When I told him that none of the women wanted to work with him, he said that I have a good figure and asked me to sleep with him,” supervisor, Ratna Kumari, further alleged. How Sexual Assault, Harassment Take Toll on Women's Health.

Kumari said that due to Reddy's behaviour some of the women staffers had quit their job. Kumari had lodged a complaint against Reddy in October 2018. "When we finally decided to file a harassment case against Reddy, he started threatening our contractor to restrain us from filing the complaint," she was quoted as saying by TNM.

The owner of Murali Manpower Agency, who sends housekeeping staff to NIFT, told media that seven months ago Reddy had demanded Kumari to be removed from her job. On Tuesday, the NIFT told the Manpower Agency to end services of 56 women claiming "lapses on the part of the housekeeping team" and asked to send their replacement.

Following this, thirteen NIFT staffers staged a protest against management for their alleged inaction against the sexual harassment complaint. Meanwhile, police said that this could be "a motivated attempt." An investigation into the case is underway, said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Madhapur, Venkateshwar.