Neighbours and IMD colleagues say the scientist is ‘quarrelsome’ and has a tendency to lodge police complaints.
Under fire for filing a police complaint against a cook for allegedly lying about belonging to the Brahmin caste when seeking a job at her home, India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) deputy director Medha Khole on Saturday withdrew her complaint.
Khole reached Sinhagad police station on Saturday and submitted an application seeking to withdraw her complaint, senior police officials said. The complaint had sparked public outrage.
“My complaint was related to cheating. However, if I have hurt anyone’s feelings, I apologise and withdraw my complaint,” she said in her application. Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said her application will now be submitted to the court to formally withdraw the case. Despite repeated attempts, Khole could not be reached for her comments.
On September 6, the IMD scientist had registered a case of impersonation against her cook Nirmala Yadav (60) for allegedly hiding her caste and status as a divorcee, and posing as a Brahmin to get the job of a cook. Khole was incensed that the cook was not a Brahmin as she only employed people of that caste for cooking food during religious ceremonies.
HT has learnt that Khole has been on leave for more than a year without intimation and that her salary has been withheld. “We will wait for some more time and then decide on the action to be taken,” an official said, requesting anonymity.
When asked for Khole’s precise period of leave from duty, AK Srivastava, head of IMD’s Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group said he was not sure of the extent of leave as he himself was posted outside Pune for a brief period.
IMD colleagues and neighbours at her Sita Park Cooperative Housing Society described her as “quarrelsome” with a penchant for taking people to the police station on petty issues. “On various occasions in the past, Khole had blocked work in the society. She has also gone to the police station at least 15 to 20 times against us for various reasons,” said Sudhir Suryawanshi, a neighbour.
In her latest police complaint, Khole said she needed a married Brahmin woman to cook food at her house for religious occasions. Yadav approached Khole in 2016 while allegedly introducing herself as Nirmala Kulkarni (a Brahmin), a senior police official had said.
When Khole confronted the cook after discovering on September 6 that Yadav was not Brahmin, the latter abused and assaulted her, according to FIR. Khole complained that cook’s “lie” hurt her, her “religious sentiments.”
Based on the complaint, Sinhgad police booked Yadav under Sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
Later, Yadav too filed a complaint against Khole.
In her complaint, scientist Dr Medha Kole said the cook had lied about her caste when applying for the job, thereby hurting her religious sentiments.
Police booked a case against the cook for cheating by personation and intentionally causing insult with intent to breach peace.
A senior scientist from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has drawn a lot of ire from both on the internet and off it after she filed acase against her cook for lying about being a Brahmin.
Dr Medha Kole on Friday had registered a case of impersonation against her cook, Nirmala Yadav for allegedly hurting her religious sentiments by ‘posing as a Brahmin’ and hiding her marital status.
Based on the complaint, Sinhgad police booked Yadav under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
While the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Sambhaji Brigade protested against the complaint, the Akhil Bharatiya Brahman Mahasangh, a body representing the Brahmin community, termed the case by Kole “unwarranted” and said the issue should be resolved mutually.
Anand Dave, the local unit head of the Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasangh, said while offering a job to prepare food during religious occasions can be a personal choice, the issue could have been resolved amicably without filing a police complaint.
“Looking at the age of the cook, we believe the police case was unwarranted and we also think that the issue should be resolved mutually,” Dave said.
Yadav received support from right-wing organisations such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
“We met Yadav and extended our support and we also demand Dr Khole apologise and withdraw the case against Yadav,” said Sampat Charwad of Bajrang Dal.
Members of Sambhaji Brigade met the joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam and sought action against Kole for creating a caste rift in the society.
“The case shows the mindset of the complainant, who appears to be utterly casteist,” said Santosh Shinde, local unit head of Sambhaji Brigade.