Human rights orgs seek high-level inquiry into death of APCCF employee

ITANAGAR, Jul 31: The Human Rights Law Network and the North East Human Rights Organization have asked the chief secretary to constitute a “high-level impartial inquiry committee to unearth the truth behind the alleged prevailing harassment at the Arunachal Pradesh Consumer’s Cooperative Federation (APCCF) Ltd,” which they accused of being responsible for the death of a woman employee, Tadu Obey, recently.

In a joint representation to the chief secretary, the organizations on Friday sought his urgent intervention in the matter of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) orders issued to six employees of the APCCF, “who are facing similar harassment.”

The organizations said they have received a written complaint from the brother of the deceased, informing that he had lodged an FIR against APCCF managing director (MD) Birik Bole on 27 June for asking his sister to take the VRS against her will, and for harassing her since 2018.

“Finally, she died just after falling unconscious in the office chamber of APCCF MD Birik Bole in Naharlagun,” the organizations said.

They said the brother of the deceased had approached the Itanagar SP with a written complaint, requesting

the SP to direct the Naharlagun police station to register his FIR, “but no appropriate action has been taken till date.”

“Almost 34 days have already passed, and without the FIR being registered, the family of the deceased feels deprived of the right to justice,” the organizations said.

They said that Tadu Obey, who had been attached to the APCCF’s diagnostic centre near the TRIHMS, had been subjected to mental harassment at workplace by the MD for years.

“The continuous harassment by the MD triggered mental agony, to which Tadu Obey finally succumbed to death on 26 June, 2020,” the human rights organizations said, and added that the VRS order had been issued to her “with a warning to take action against her if she failed to submit a willingness letter for VRS.”

The organizations also claimed that “the MD was seen near the emergency ward of the TRIHMS, Naharlagun, but when the condition of the deceased was worsening, the MD escaped from the hospital without telling anything about the incident.”

“It is very unfortunate that even after her death, not a single condolence message has come personally from the MD or on behalf of the federation,” they added.

The organizations have submitted copies of the representation to the director general of police, the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women, and the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society.