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IT engineer from Pune complains of religious discrimination to labour commissioner’s office

Amaan Khan, 37, a bachelor of technology in computer science from Meerut university and a former tech lead at Exfo Electro Optical Engineering India Private Limited, approached the city labour commissioner’s office after he was allegedly forced to resign from the company after an argument with his senior manager.

pune Updated: Jun 26, 2018 17:35 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
IT engineer,Pune,complains
As per Khan’s complaint, he offered evening prayers on April 6, Friday, and forgot to take off the handkerchief on his head. The senior manager in question Kishor Kotecha, then called Khan in his office and the two got into an argument about the handkerchief on his head, the complaint said. Khan approached the labour commissioner’s office.(HT REPRESENTATIVE Photo)

A Pune-based computer engineer has approached the Pune district labour court after an argument with his senior manager about wearing a religious skull scarf ended up in allegedly forced resignation.

Amaan Khan, 37, a bachelor of technology in computer science from Meerut university and a former tech lead at Exfo Electro Optical Engineering India Private Limited, approached the city labour commissioner’s office after he was allegedly forced to resign from the company after an argument with his senior manager.

Part of a Quebec-headquartered multinational, the company works with big data, networking and wireless technology for telecom companies and has a presence in a number of countries.

As per Khan’s complaint, he offered evening prayers on April 6, Friday, and forgot to take off the handkerchief on his head. The senior manager in question Kishor Kotecha, then called Khan in his office and the two got into an argument about the handkerchief on his head, the complaint said.

While Kotecha told HT that the incident of April 6 as narrated by Khan was not right, the company’s managing director BVS Krishna Murthy issued a statement that Exfo has the utmost respect for its employees and their beliefs and “out of respect for employee privacy, EXFO does not comment on individual employee conduct/performance.”

According to the complaint, after the April 6 incident, Khan left for a holiday to his native place in Agra and returned on April 27 to file a complaint with the human resource department and Murthy.

On May 31, Khan received an apology from Kotecha through email that read: “Unintentionally if I have hurt your religious sentiments in any way or otherwise, then as already explained and apologised to you in our meeting on May 11 together with Krishna, please find this further as my written apology.”

Khan said, “On June 12, they called me to the HR office. Kalyani Patne from HR and MD Murthy were present there. They asked me to sign a termination letter. However, they handed me a letter that reads ‘resignation acceptance letter’. I was in such shock. I did not know what to do.”

“It is not only my family of three children and my wife that I support, I also support four children of my late brother,” he added.

“The most worrying part of this is that I have never sent any resignation email officially, even then they asked me to sign letter of resignation,” Khan wrote in his complaint to the labour commissioner.

Khan had returned from Quebec, the Canada headquarters of the company, in the last week of March after a three-month offshore stint.

First Published: Jun 26, 2018 17:35 IST