Pilot accused of sexual harrassment requires written permission to enter Air India premises

An Air India pilot accused of sexual harassment has been told that he needs a written permission to enter the airline’s offices till an inquiry is over, according to an official document.

Last Wednesday, the national carrier had said it has set up a high-level inquiry to probe a junior woman pilot’s sexual harassment complaint against the accused, who is holding a senior position of commander rank.

In a letter to the accused on Monday, Abhay Pathak, Air India regional director (northern region), said that “pending (an) enquiry… during the period of suspension, you will not enter the premises of Air India Limited without written permission.” “You will not leave the station (Delhi) without written permission of the undersigned,” Pathak added.

According to a complaint filed by the woman pilot, the alleged incident took place on May 5 in Hyderabad, where she was being trained by the commander pilot.

In the complaint, the female pilot has alleged that the instructor suggested that the two should have dinner at a restaurant after the training session was over that day.

“We went to (a) restaurant at around 8 pm and this is where my ordeal started…. He started with telling me how depressed and unhappy he was in his married life,” the woman said in her complaint.

“He also asked me how I coped with my husband living away and whether I didn’t need to have sex everyday. He asked me if I masturbated…,” she alleged. “At some point I told him I did not want to talk about all this and called a cab.” The pilot alleged that the commander’s behaviour got worse during the half-hour wait for the cab. “I was left shocked at this behaviour and felt extremely uncomfortable, scared and humiliated,” she added.

The woman said she felt “morally obliged” to report this matter to the airline so that such behaviour is not repeated with anyone else in the future.

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed.)

First Published:
May 21, 2019 16:31 IST

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