IMD scientist who raised Pune caste storm absent from work for a year
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IMD scientist who raised Pune caste storm absent from work for a year

Khole was recently in the news after she accused her cook of lying about her caste as a Brahmin and filed a police complaint against the woman,

pune Updated: Sep 13, 2017 17:13 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Medha Khole.(HT Photo)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, has been tight lipped over the long, indefinite absence of senior scientist and deputy director general for Weather Forecasting, Medha Khole, from duty.

Khole was recently in the news after she accused her cook of lying about her caste as a Brahmin, thereby hurting her religious sentiments. Khole filed a police complaint against the woman, but later withdrew the complaint under public pressure.

An official from IMD, Pune requesting anonymity, informed Hindustan Times that Khole has not been reporting to work for more than a year. Officials said that this period of absence from work cannot be termed as leave as there had been no formal application seeking the same. They further stated that for the time period that she hasn't been on duty she has been paid no salary.

When asked for Khole’s precise period of leave, AK Srivastava, head of IMD’s Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group, declined to give any information on the matter.

Senior officials have hinted that action could be taken against Khole for her prolonged absence from work as per IMD rules.

Khole’s flat was found locked at her Sita Park Cooperative Housing Society at Shivajinagar. She also failed to respond to phone calls and text messages about her leave without intimation.

Following the public outrage, Khole on Saturday withdrew her complaint. In her complaint application, Khole said, “My complaint was related to cheating. However, if I have hurt anyone’s feelings, I apologise and withdraw my complaint,” she said in her application. Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said her application will now be submitted to the court to formally withdraw the case.

It was on September 6 that the IMD scientist had registered a case of impersonation against her cook Nirmala Yadav (60) for allegedly hiding her caste and status as a divorcee, and posing as a Brahmin to get the job of a cook. Khole was incensed that the cook was not a Brahmin as she only employed people of that caste for cooking food during religious ceremonies.

In her police complaint, Khole, said she needed a Brahmin married woman, whose husband is alive, to cook food at her house for religious occasions. Yadav approached Khole in 2016 while allegedly introducing herself as Nirmala Kulkarni (a Brahmin), a senior police official had said.

When Khole confronted the cook after discovering on September 6 that Yadav was not Brahmin, the latter abused and assaulted her, according to FIR. Khole complained that cook’s “lie” hurt her, her “religious sentiments.”

Based on the complaint, Sinhgad police booked Yadav under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

First Published: Sep 12, 2017 14:34 IST