On Saturday, 22 March 2016, the British newspaper The Guardian published an article by the environment editor of the paper, John Vidal on the sexual harassment charges against the former director general of The Energy and Resources Insititute (TERI), RK Pachauri. In the article, Pachauri claimed that the allegations against him were a conspiracy by climate-change-sceptics.
In February 2015, a former employee of TERI had filed a complaint stating that she was sexually harassed by Pachauri. Following the complaint, Pachauri vacated his position. Last month, Pachauri was appointed Executive Vice-Chairman, a post specially created for him. The same month, a second former employee stepped forward and accused Pachauri of sexual harassment. Now, a third woman has spoken out. Below is an open letter received from her lawyers.
I have read the story “Rajendra Pachauri speaks out over sexual harassment claims”, published in The Guardian. I remember that in the third week of February 2015, I had read some news reports which said that an employee of TERI had filed a criminal complaint against R.K. Pachauri for sexually harassing her. On reading these news reports, I was 0% surprised. I can very much relate to what the other women wrote in her statement. When I was 19, I worked for 4 months (end of 2008) at TERI, as Pachauri's secretary. Pachauri’s claim that his computer was hacked is totally false. From my point of view, this is right in line with his character, and not a case of his computer being hacked. I think it is important for me to now make my statement public so that people know the truth about Pachauri.
Here is what I recall from my time in TERI. From the beginning I noted a big difference in the way Pachauri behaved around me, compared to how other Indian men behaved with me. Other men kept a polite distance with limited physical contact. However, from the beginning Pachauri would put his hands on my waist repeated times, he would hug me longer than felt comfortable, kissed me on the cheek and inquired about my private life.
I started feeling insecure about his motives for hiring me, and felt extremely uncomfortable being around him.