SC pulls up T-police, gives 2 weeks final notice in BHEL sexual harassment-suicide case

By Priyali Dhingra  Published on  21 Aug 2020 8:57 AM GMT
SC pulls up T-police, gives 2 weeks final notice in BHEL sexual harassment-suicide case

Hyderabad: In a hearing on August 19, the Supreme Court gave two weeks final notice to the Telangana police, Telangana government, and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to file a reply in the death by suicide case of Neha Chouksey.

Neha, who worked as an employee with BHEL Hyderabad office, hung herself in October 2019, post which her relatives have been demanding a thorough investigation. They had filed a petition in the Supreme Court in July 2020 demanding that the case be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The relatives alleged that TS police was observing negligence in the investigation and were diverting the case to aid the alleged accused who hailed from a similar linguistic background.

In her suicide note, Neha had mentioned that she was being harassed and stalked by officials at her workplace.

As per the petition filed by Neha's mother, the 33-year old was allegedly stalked, sexually harassed, molested, and attempted to be raped by her supervisor at the office, driving her to suicide. It further contends that despite her suicide note, which clearly mentioned that she was tortured, the prime accused has still not been arrested.

Speaking to Newsmeter, Neha's sister Nutan Chouksey said, "The police here has been maintaining a linguistic approach in the investigation. They are trying to divert the case by saying that my sister was not mentally stable, and that is why we want an official CBI inquiry in the case." She further added that there were several instances when the investigating officers did not answer their calls.

The family's petition also contends that there were no advances made by the TS police until weeks after Neha's death. The plea included an audio recording of Neha on a call with her mother, where she said that she was sexually harassed.

"Mummy, I have lost. I lived very strongly till now but today they have crossed all limits. They have made my living difficult. If I continue in office in future too then they will either rape me or molest me," Neha's suicide note read.

Newsmeter had earlier reported that Neha was allegedly threatened by her manager that she would be raped. "She was scared that she would become another Disha and this forced her to take the extreme step," Nutan Chouksey added.

Also read: BHEL employee committed suicide out of fear of becoming another Disha

Venkatesh Shamala, SHO, Miyapur Police, said, "We have been investigating the case. The cellphones of the prime accused have been sent to forensics. The pandemic caused a delay in the investigation. Neha had alleged that she was defamed by employees at the office by sending messages to her family. However, we did not find any messages as such. We will be reverting to the court as soon as the forensic report comes."

Neha had transferred from BHEL's Bhopal office to Hyderabad office in 2017 after her marriage. She had alleged in the suicide note that officials at both offices were defaming and gossiping about her. SHO Miyapur, however, said that the police has not been able to establish a link between both offices pertaining to these conversations.

The Supreme Court has stated that this will be TS police's last chance before the case is transferred to higher authorities.

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