A woman officer working with the intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) tried to end her life by consuming poison inside the Prime Minister Office (PMO) on Tuesday afternoon.
The officer alleged sexual harassment against two senior officers in R&AW and an inquiry has been initiated into the allegations.
The victim said she was forced to take the extreme step, as her seniors were not addressing her complaints.
She also claimed that her official residence was raided several times and that her phone was tapped.
She said due to the complaints her performance in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR’s) were deliberately downgraded.
The incident occurred around 2 pm. She consumed rat poison at the reception of the PMO during lunch break.
The woman was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where her condition was said to be out of danger.
“The officer was given several opportunities to present her case but she refused to cooperate with the committee. Her allegations could not be substantiated by the committee. Based on examination of reports of her erratic behaviour, a senior medical officer of AIIMS opined presence of a psychiatric illness in her. She refused to undergo medical counselling,” a press note released by the Cabinet Secretariat read.
“A number of complaints have been received from different officers against her. She refused to be a part of the preliminary inquiry ordered against her on August 8 and attempted suicide inside the PMO,” the note further read.
The officer, who has done her post graduation from St Stephen's College, joined R&AW in 1987. She is at present serving as a director at the agency’s training institute in Gurgaon.
She alleged that in August 2007 a “joint secretary offered her Rs 30,000 to sleep with him at a hotel”.
It was then that she complained to the R&AW secretary and the sexual harassment committee started looking into the case. Hindustan Times is in possession of the letters she wrote to her seniors and the Prime Minister.
After meeting the National Security Advisor (NSA), M.K. Narayanan, she submitted her resignation. She was, however, reinstated on November 12, 2007, on a post that had already been occupied by another officer. The victim had met the NSA in November 2007 and apprised him about the case.
In one of her letters addressed to the In Charge of Appointments Cell at the PM residence, the woman officer alleged, “The department (R&AW) has been sending two women officers to my sister’s residence. They describe me as a man hater. I assert that simply because I refuse to sleep with senior officers in my department in return for official favours, I do not become a man hater.”
“I am managing my office comprising 250 officials efficiently and looking after my parents and brother who is suffering from cancer. The department’s persistent claim that I need psychiatric treatment is completely baseless,” her letter also said.