Wednesday, 4 August 2004
From May 2004 Jayashree Prasad and Arunashri Prasad started facing sexual harassment. The harassment was masterminded by Nirmal Chandra Swain, the inmate advocate who got his degree through dubious means so it is rumored. His co-conspirators were Girish Panda, Santosh Nayak, Krishna Chandra, Shankar@Sajjal Mitra etc. It was the same group of men who were responsible for assaulting Jayashree on 09.01.2001.
The sexual harassment by these men began at first by urinating in from of their rooms, many times during the day and also by passing vulgar comments and making vulgar gestures and sending pornographic cartoons. Later other sisters were also made victims. On 13.06.2004 Jayashree and Arunashri complained before the Bar Association at Pondicherry since it involved a lawyer and the President of the Bar Mr. Bhaktavachalam, who was appearing for the trustees in my criminal case, requested the trustees to stop this indignity. However his advice was not followed. Over many weeks repeated requests were made but to no avail.
On 26.07.2004 we five sisters met the trustees during their Trust Board meeting and they denied having received any complaint from us. In fact Dilip Datta (Trustee) and Manoj Das (Managing Trustee) Gupta suggested that it was the work of an artist on seeing the pornographic cartoons and he also commented that these men were saints and were leading a pious life. He was trying to hint at two things – (1) Arunashri is an artist and that she was the one doing these drawings and (2) that we sisters were not leading pious lives because we were protesting against their mal-administration and had many cases filed and pending against the trustees including criminal case for defamation.
Then on 03.08.2004 Chandramani Patel, who is Arunashri’s neighbor, tried to molest her. She somehow escaped and ran to Jayashree’s room and spent the night trembling with fright.