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War widows go to NCW on harassment issue

New Delhi: Two war widows from Punjab on Tuesday brought their complaints of sexual harassment against a retired army official to the National Commission for Women here, a charge he strongly denied.

Thirty eight-year-old Raj Kaur, widow of sena medal awardee Havildar Gurmail Singh, who died during an army operation in Assam, and Margaret Gill met NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas and submitted a memorandum alleging that retired Brigadier J S Jaswal repeatedly harassed them sexually at their work place in the Sainik Board office in Chandigarh and Bhatinda respectively.

Ms Kaur alleged that on many occasions Mr. Jaswal, the Director of Sainik Board, Chandigarh, ushered her into his chamber and showed her pornographic material.

On her refusal to give in to his advances, he gave her an adverse career report and blocked discretionary benefits, forcing her to seek transfer to Ropar, which was granted.

She accused Mr. Jaswal's personal assistant of ``threatening'' her on several occasions in this connection.

Ms Gill, a Class IV employee in the Sainik Board's Bhatinda office, alleged she and her daughter were also victims of Mr. Jaswal's sexual advances.

However, when contacted by PTI in Chandigarh over phone, Mr. Jaswal denied the charges saying he ``has done nothing wrong.'' ``An inquiry conducted against Raj Kaur by the SC/ST Commission on allegations that she used rascist abuses against my PA, had found her guilty... She was never directly working under me. I have never made any sexual advances towards her and these allegations have been levelled to scuttle departmental action after the commission report,'' he said. -- PTI

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