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Crime Patrol: Bengal Network: Rina Mukherji's case against The Statesman (Episode 237, 238 on 26th, 27th Apr 2013)




The Inside Story

Ten Years On: Lessons Learnt from Sexual Harassment at The Statesman, Kolkata, West Bengal

After taking a short break from work to have a baby, a woman with over a decade of experience in journalism hoped to get her career back on track when she joined The Statesman in Kolkata in 2002. However, she soon faced sexual harassment and found the management unresponsive to her complaint. Gynaecological treatment and medical counselling were required for her to overcome the trauma of the experience.

Although there were some colleagues who supported her, the proceedings for conciliation at the Labour Commissioner’s office and the Women’s Commission were unfruitful. The dispute eventually went to the labour court where the legal system, including vacant courts and delays, proved harrowing. After nine years, she won the first part of her case, and her lawyers urged her to continue. The senior lawyers were unwilling to try their hand in a difficult, unprecedented case, but Ms Sutapa Chakrabarty of HRLN, a legal aid NGO in Kolkata, helped her argue her case.

This experience revealed the dark underbelly of the Indian media where unsuitable truths are conveniently swept under the carpet. Despite the support of some colleagues and journalists who brought the issue to the forefront, the woman’s experience shows the difficulty of holding organisations accountable for sexual harassment. She hopes that by sharing her story, others will be encouraged to speak up, and the media can become a safer place for women.

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  1. Congratulations for your win , Three Cheers for your patience and the confidence you had in your almighty , My Best wishes and Prayers for a good and happy prospours happy life ahead

  2. I have a great regards for Mrs Rina. I salute for her tremendous fighting for her dignity with the help of her advocate and also a great support from her husband. Her husband was the main hero of the result as he stand with her in difficult time and supported her till the end. He believe in her ability, capability and her fighting spirit.
    May all females should be like Mrs Rina. May God bless Mrs Rina and keep her happy, healthy & wealthy.


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