A Congress social media team member, Chirag Patnaik, was arrested in Delhi on Monday for allegedly sexually harassing a former colleague. He was released on bail soon after.
The police filed a First Information Report or FIR against Patnaik on July 3 after the complainant – who was part of the social media team – accused him molesting her. The woman has left the team since.
“As stated in the complaint, Mr. Chirag Patnaik abused his official position to engage in perverted acts which can be mildly termed as Sexual Harassment. The Applicant conveyed her disapproval both verbally and by action, but Mr. Chirag Patnaik did not relent and continued with acts of harassment,” an entry in the Delhi police FIR said.
The party’s social media head, Divya Spandana, said an internal committee is investigating the matter.
Regarding the allegations: The Social Media Dept has set up an Internal Committee and as per the provisions of the Act the Internal Committee is already investigating the complaint. In view of confidentiality of the investigation no further comments will be made.
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) July 31, 2018
Earlier this month, Ms Spandana issued a statement with signatures of Patnaik’s team members vouching for his “good character”.
Ms Spandana had then said that she was not aware of the allegations till she was approached by a reporter. She said she had contacted the complainant and was waiting for her response.
In response to the recent allegations against one of our team workers by an ex worker, please read the statement below- pic.twitter.com/4LVa5Hzoxk
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) July 3, 2018
The BJP has asked the Delhi Police for a thorough investigation.
“We appeal to the Delhi Police to also ensure the safety of the woman who complained of sexual harassment at the social media office of the Congress,” BJP parliamentarian Meenakshi Lekhi had told reporters.