Women Employees 'Strip Searched' at Kochi Firm, 3 Booked

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Kochi:  Three women staff of a surgical gloves manufacturing company in Kochi have been booked for allegedly strip searching more than 30 women employees to find out who left a used sanitary napkin in a washroom.

Police today said they have registered cases against the three women staff under various sections of the Indian Penal Code or IPC, including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) on a complaint by the other women staff.

Development Commissioner of Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) has set also up a three-member committee to probe the alleged incident which happened on December 10 at Asma Rubber Private Limited, manufacturing surgical and examination gloves.

The shocking incident came to public notice only a few days ago after the affected women filed a police complaint.

After the incident triggered an outrage with women activists condemning the humiliating action and pending inquiries by police and the three-member committee, the management yesterday suspended a Supervisor, an Assistant Supervisor and a sub-staff following protests from other employees.

Also they were temporarily laid off pending inquiry.

Managing Director of the company CYA Rahim said the suspension of the three did not mean that they had committed a crime. The probe report was being awaited.

"The unit had been temporarily shut as the working atmosphere has been disturbed," he said.

The women employees aged between 25 and 50 were "forcibly strip searched" to ascertain who was menstruating after the used sanitary napkin was found in a wash room of the company.

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