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    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Local clothing store Zeen employee was fired after molestation incident goes viral

    After a woman shared her experience of molestation by an employee of local clothing store Zeen yesterday, social media uproar has resulted in the offender being fired. But is that enough punishment for the molester's crime?
    The woman anonymously recounted her story on Facebook page Girls At Dhabas.
    — Screengrab: Girls At Dhabas
    — Screengrab: Girls At Dhabas
    Of the incident, she said that "I was standing with my mother, busy checking out a dress when I felt a hand touch my butt/thigh very firmly, the kind of touch you can't mistake for an accident. I immediately turned around and shouted at the man standing there-- who turned out to be one of the staffers! "Dekh ke chalo, kya kar rahay ho?" [Watch where you're going, what do you think you are doing?], to which he said: "Galti se lag gaya" [It happened by accident]."
    She related that the rest of the staff at Zeen did not adequately respond to her complaint against the molester.
    "I managed to get out the employee's name -- Najeeb (assuming that is his real name) and learned that he was fasting (!), but aside from that, even though the rest of the staff gathered around us and learned what had happened, no one was willing to give out any information about him, or help us report him to the manager."
    "Where my mother and I were expecting the store's staff to be horrified by what had happened, and to assure us that some sort of accountability would be held, they reacted in quite the opposite manner: they kept apologising on his behalf, asking us to let go of the matter, and when we asked for a comments/complaint card or the manager's number or some way to report the harassment, they did not provide anything, and kept assuring us they would forward the complaint themselves.
    "When my mother wondered out loud how many girls Najeeb might have harassed before, one of the female staff members answered back with a smile: "Nahi jee, yeh pehli dafa hua hai." [No, this has happened for the first time.]
    "This woman, along with the rest of the staff, continued protecting Najeeb and his personal information, despite our persistent demands. We were not even able to learn his full name. Towards they end they had the gall to say: "Ab woh admit kar raha hai ke uss ne kiya tha, toh bass rehne dayn! Hum khud hi kar leyn ge." [Now he's admitting he [made a mistake], so why don't you leave it at that. We will deal with him ourselves]
    She said that after failing to lodge a complaint against the molester at Zeen, she was forced to publicise the matter on Facebook.
    "Eventually, my mother and I had no other option but to leave. Even while we were dealing with the store staff, I was-- and still am -- quite traumatised, but the reason I didn't let this matter go, and the reason I am writing this post now is because I don't want this to happen to any other girl, ever, and because I want to call Zeen out for their messed up way of dealing with their customers' complaints -- especially one of such a horrific nature.
    "Zeen should take immediate action and fire that employee -- no space should tolerate any kind of harassment to the people who occupy it, especially one which claims to be for women."
    Zeen's management responded to their customer's complaint via the comments section of this Facebook post.
    Zeen's response — Screengrab: Girls At Dhabas
    Zeen's response — Screengrab: Girls At Dhabas
    They said that the offender has been fired and the company is taking further steps to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future: "Please be assured that at Zeen, we have a zero tolerance policy regarding such issues. Based on our valued customer's complaint and our investigation through CCTV and speaking with the staff we have immediately fired the staff member you identified (Najeeb). In addition, those staff members that were negligible towards this issue have been reprimanded and will be punished for their negligence towards this matter. Also, we have taken steps to provide a complaint number for customers so such incidents are reported directly to us. We have been conducting regular training sessions with our staff members but will take measures so they know the gravity of the situation and know about the consequences of such behavior."
    The incident reinforces the importance of speaking up against harassment and abuse. But it also highlights the need for a more robust justice system that provides easily accessible options and that inspires the confidence of the public. Social media should not be the go-to platform for people to seek justice for crimes committed against them.
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    Item Reviewed: Local clothing store Zeen employee was fired after molestation incident goes viral Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar