After sexual harassment allegations, Calcutta Times Editor gets a transfer but survivors say, not enough

eNewsroom Impact I Nasreen Khan, the first to highlight Satadru Ojha’s alleged sexual harassment case, maintains that TOI was bound to take action due the pressure building under #MeToo movement and also to save their face

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Kolkata: Editor of Calcutta Times, Satadru Ojha, who has been in the limelight for all the wrong reason, has been relieved of his current responsibility and has been relocated to a different city with a new role. Ojha, has been accused by at least three former Times of India employee for sexual harassment. The decision came not after the victims filed their complaints with the HR but after Nasreen Khan, also one of the co-founders of eNewsroom highlighted her turmoil, when the #MeToo India movement was hitting its peak. However, the company has not mentioned where Satadru Ojha has been relocated and what new responsibility he has been assigned.

The official note shared with eNewsroom by Anshul Chaturvedi, National Editor, Times of India’s Metro Supplements stated, “A highly empowered and accessible committee to investigate and address all allegations of sexual harassment. The committee is chaired by a senior woman executive and majority of its members are accomplished women, in addition to NGO representatives and legal professionals with relative experience at social work.”

Ojha has been charged of sexual harassment by three women journalists who worked under him. The survivours– Nasreen Khan, Amita Ghosh and Deblina Chakravorty also took on to social media to highlight the ordeal that they had to endure at Calcutta Times. Khan led the way, as she was the first to narrate her plight. She was soon followed by the other two, Ghosh and Chakravorty. Their horrific tales were published in eNewsroom first. The trio mentioned that sexual harassment along with prolonged mental harassment took a toll on their physical as well as mental health. Amita also pointed out how few women journalists close to Ojha joined hands with him to add on to the plight of survivors.

Ghosh who is currently working for a news channel stated that she was happy with this move of Times of India. She said, “This is a step taken towards unbiased investigation of the matter.  I am not hopeless as TOI taking a step like this is definitely a big deal as it is never been done before. He has been shielded in the past and now he being relocated to a different city with a new role is a big thing.” But she added, “We want justice and want him to step down so that this should act as a deterrent for everyone.”

On October 11, Amita had filed a police complaint against Satadru, for sexually harassing her and the discrimination that she faced in office, which ultimately forced her to leave the organization.

Nasreen who has been battling a lone battle against the serial offender, felt that the transfer was farce in the name of an internal investigation. “I am fighting a mindset, so am not at all vindictive.  Relocating won’t help. It will give him a fresh territory. It’s like a predator let loose to fend for fresh meat in a new territory.” She added, “TOI has been forced to take this step to combat the negative publicity that it has been getting. The fact that TOI didn’t suspend him or asked him to leave clearly shows that the company is still backing him. Under the pressure of #MeToo movement and social media TOI was bound to take action just to save their face.”

When asked to comment on the official note of TOI that stated: “The complaint was dismissed after a detailed investigation by the ICC due to absence of corroborating evidence”, Nasreen said that official statement issued by TOI reflect their bias. She said, “I have nothing to gain from it. My consciousness couldn’t allow me to run away from the crime being committed. I had to fight back.”

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