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Rediff.com  » News » Did #MeToo take life of Genpact executive?

Did #MeToo take life of Genpact executive?

Last updated on: December 26, 2018 16:10 IST

'Just because a girl accuses someone of sexual harassment it does not mean that person should be held guilty.'
'A man must be given a fair chance.'
'Even if he is able to clear his name in the case, he would not be able to face the world.'

IMAGE: Genpact employee Swaroop Raj, who took his life after facing allegations of sexual harassment at work, with his wife Kriti.

After working for 11 years at Genpact, Swaroop Raj, assistant vice president, was called for a meeting on December 18, 2018.

At the meeting he was told that two lady colleagues had accused him of sexual harassment.

Swaroop was suspended with immediate effect. He was told to leave the company premises immediately. His laptop was confiscated.

Swaroop went home and hanged himself.

Before committing suicide, Swaroop wrote a letter to his wife Kriti, telling her he was innocent and that the sexual harassment charges against him were false.

Speaking to Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf, Kriti Swaroop, also a Genpact employee, narrates the events that led to her husband's tragic death.

 

***

On December 18, Swaroop told me he had to go to office early.

Since both of us work in the same office, we used to go and come together.

On that day, it did not happen.

Around 10.30 pm when I was leaving office, I called him. His phone was switched off.

I tried calling him many times, but his phone was switched off.

I checked his last seen message (on WhatsApp) and it was showing he had not checked it for the last 8 hours.

This was surprising because he never used to be offline for so long.

I called one of his office friends who told me Swaroop had left for home early.

When I reached home, the door was locked.

I called the neighbours after sometime.

We had to break the door to enter our house.

As soon as we entered, we saw Swaroop's body.

I am still wondering what happened to him, why did he commit suicide.

My husband did not discuss anything about this sexual harassment case with me even a day earlier.

He was not that kind of person who would do something like this.

He used to share each and everything with me.

A day before his death, we planned for a New Year's Eve night and also our future plans.

A night before his death, we came back from office together, watched TV. Everything was normal.

I don't know what happened in just one day.

He was called for a meeting on Tuesday morning and told he is being charged with sexual harassment.

He was suspended with immediate effect.

This shocked him so much as he was falsely accused.

In his suicide letter he wrote that two girls had accused him of sexual harassment in office.

He said he was innocent and he did not do anything wrong.

He wrote that even if he is able to clear his name in the case, he would not be able to face the world.

He was in such a high position so many people knew him.

He just could not take this false allegation against him.

IMAGE: Swaroop's suicide letter.

Though I work in Genpact, I have no idea who these girls accusing him of sexual assault are.

He used to discuss every issue in office with me, but never discussed this.

I don't know whether the case is of internal politics or if these two girls wanted to get something professional out of Swaroop.

That is why I am begging the police that they must tell me the names of the girls.

If the police tell me their names, then I can tell them (the accusers) what Swaroop used to feel about them.

I know almost everyone in Genpact. I have worked there for the last three years.

Swaroop worked for Genpact for 11 years and had a spotless career.

He was my loving husband.

If there was some kind of problem in the job, he would have come and discussed it with me.

98 per cent of his professional life was spent in this company.

He was too shocked by the way they treated him.

If these girls had such serious allegations, why did they not file a police complaint? Why are they hiding their faces even now?

The company is not telling me anything.

Some employees came to meet after Swaroop's death, but only on a personal level.

Genpact employees have been told not to speak to the media or even me about his death.

It has been a week since Swarooop's death and I have not been back to the company.

'This is a very difficult time for all of us and our hearts go out to the employees and their families. Genpact's priority is to protect the dignity and privacy of everyone impacted.'
'We would like to state that there was a serious complaint of sexual harassment made by two female employees against the deceased. The complaint was being duly investigated by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as per the mandated process.'
'To have a fair and uninfluenced inquiry, he was placed under temporary suspension pending the closure of the inquiry.'
'This is in accordance with the Prevention and Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act (POSH) and in line with legal requirements and company policy.'
'We implore the public and media to give the deceased and the complainants the space and dignity they deserve.'
Genpact Statement
 
 

The #Metoo movement has to be looked at from both sides. Be it a male or female.

There has to be equality in justice.

Just because a girl accuses someone of sexual harassment it does not mean that person should be held guilty.

A man must be given a fair chance.

Genpact did not follow the Vishaka guidelines.

As per the Vishaka guidelines, there has to be an internal complaint committee that has to be formed and both parties must sit in front of each other.

According to the guidelines, a copy of the complaint has to be given to the accused person in 7 days. However, this was not followed in this case.

Tell me, in which office can a man be suspended in just one day?

Read the suspension letter.

They suspended him on sexual harassment charges and asked to leave his ID card and laptop behind.

The letter made him feel guilty.

They never allowed Swaroop a chance to explain his position.

They just assumed that he was guilty.

If Swaroop had got even one day to explain his position, he would have surely come and spoke to me about this issue.

He would have said something to me on the issue.

Without any basis they just told him to leave.

I am now planning to go to court against Genpact.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf / Rediff.com in Mumbai