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A lady journalist alleged sexual misconduct by Justice Kolse Patil, via a tweet on October 5 2018 and was published in newspapers the following day. Justice Patil rebuts and denies the charges, vide a press release. A report in Different Truths.
AIKMS, in a press release, issued the reply of Justice Kolse Patil, which is as follows:
“Today, I am confronted with an allegation levelled anonymously, which is so difficult to deal with yet leaves me personally scarred.
“It saddens me to even have such anonymous charges against me. I have spent my life trying to address issues of how India treats her daughters and to be faced with a charge like this.
“I am accused of ‘sexually harassing’ a journalist, who chose to remain anonymous while casting serious aspersion on my character. The allegation is that while the person bent over, I caught her collar and asked her why her top button was open. I recall no such incident and I categorically deny it. But if the lady were to come forward, I could perhaps address the allegations.
“If, however, you consider the charge itself, ostensibly, she (whoever she is) had come to record an interview with me ‘on camera’. I have no idea who this person is. We may have had the interview inside my house but the inside my house does not mean a private space. I do not give interviews in private spaces. There are a number of people all over the house including police personnel, my personal staff and members of my household.
“Additionally, an interview on camera necessarily requires the presence of more than one person.
““In today’s India anyone who raises concerns of social inequities especially if they involve our religion, such as caste and women’s rights is branded anti-national and a communist…”
“In today’s India anyone who raises concerns of social inequities especially if they involve our religion, such as caste and women’s rights is branded anti-national and a communist. I do not mind the branding so long as I can continue my fight against these inequities. Unfortunately, these allegations impede my work and my personal credibility. While it is impossible to identify who made this allegation but the fact that the allegation found its momentum on dubious right-wing extremist publications makes the source obvious. It is for this reason that I believe that the RSS and its hit and run media partners are clearly behind this and continue to propagate this. It appears to be standard strategy of maligning people whom they oppose. I do not compare myself to Nehru or Gandhi, but it is that right wing that continuously uses a picture of a man dressed as Gandhi dancing with a lady and Nehru hugging his sister to propagate an image of them being inveterate philanderers. It is their style of functioning.
“This sexual harassment allegation was published on twitter on 5th October 2018, and in the newspapers that very next day.”
“Interestingly, if you notice I organised a platform called the Elgaar Parishad. The government, ignoring the violence perpetrated against the Dalits following the Elgar Parishad and the true organisers of the Parishad, has instead turned the investigation into the purported organisers who were supposedly a group of so-called urban naxals who apparently planned to assassinate the Prime Minister. Some of these persons were arrested on 28th August 2018, and their bail pleas were heard on 5th October, 2018. This sexual harassment allegation was published on twitter on 5th October 2018, and in the newspapers that very next day. You will note that all news is datelined 6th October 2018. I am sorry if I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the methods used by the RSS and the dates are there in black and white.
“I must once again categorically deny anything like this has happened and I hope this baseless allegation does not affect my work.
“I must also clarify that I believe in the #MeToo movement as it has provided women of the world a platform to deal with the very serious issue of sexual harassment,” stated Justice Kolse Patil.
“This is tragic – an anonymous complaint. How does one even investigate it, and yet its effect has been so damaging for the person?”
Meanwhile, Dr Vikas Bajpai, Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, reiterated,
“This is tragic – an anonymous complaint. How does one even investigate it, and yet its effect has been so damaging for the person? Wheresoever or whosoever it originated from should be served a public notice, through a media platform, by some responsible women’s rights activists / noted public intellectuals to provide more details of the incident in order to verify the credentials of the allegation, with in a stipulated time. Failing same, the complaint should be publicly trashed,” the press release emphasised.
The release added, quoting Shamsul Islam, “This allegation is atrocious. But by the time it is found baseless, damage to the reputation of Mr. Justice Kolse Patil is going to be substantial.”
©All India Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (AIKMS)
Photos from AIKMS and the Internet