Posted by Fenil Seta
Anon Twitter handle, who is asking women to reach out, says scores have come forward with horror stories
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; March 15, 2017)
The list of sexual harassment complaints against The Viral Fever (TVF) founder-CEO Arunabh Kumar has been getting longer, barely two days after an 'apparently' 24-year-old former employee accused the entrepreneur of repeatedly molesting her in an anonymous blog post.
As the tell-all account went viral, six more women shared similar experiences with Arunabh, again anonymously. At last count, the number of complainants, however in fact, crossed 50!
The Twitter handle, through which the first post by the ex-employee went viral, has now received over 50 direct messages from women opening up about unsavoury encounters with Arunabh. The person handling the account has said the information will be shared publicly only after it is verified.
When mid-day reached out to TVF to find out if the company had initiated an internal inquiry into the matter, spokesperson Aditi Singh responded in the affirmative. "Our committee which comprises internal and external people (sic) is looking into the matter. Once we have an update with regard to the verdict, we will communicate it to everyone."
Asked if Kumar would step down as CEO temporarily to ensure a smooth and fair investigation, she says, "I am not aware of any such thing." However, she goes on to add: "TVF complies with all applicable labour laws, takes sexual harassment complaints very seriously and processes the same in accordance with the law. We have an in-house HR department and legal department supported by a panel of top law firms."
The TVF team had, on Monday, said that they would "leave no stone unturned" to track down the writer of the anonymous blog post as well as other ex-employees supporting the "ludicrous, defamatory and unverified" article, and "bring them to severe justice".
So, have they got in touch with the cyber crime cell in this regard yet? Aditi says, "As of now, I am not aware of the company approaching the cyber crime cell. We are trying to figure out if the claims made are true. If there is any substance to it, we will take necessary action. If there isn't, then also proper action will be taken."