Singapore-based fashion startup Zilingo on Friday fired its Indian-origin co-founder and chief executive Ankiti Bose for alleged financial irregularities.

"Following an investigation led by an independent forensics firm that was commissioned to look into complaints of serious financial irregularities, the company has decided to terminate Ankiti Bose's employment with cause, and reserves the right to pursue appropriate legal action," a company statement said.

The fashion startup had suspended Bose on March 31 after alleged discrepancies were discovered in the company’s accounting.

On April 11, after her suspension on March 31, Bose had brought to the board's attention, for the first time, certain harassment-related issues pertaining to past time periods, which did not include any harassment complaints against investors or their nominees, the company stated, adding that a top consulting firm was appointed to look into the claims of harassment.

The investigation has concluded that the company took appropriate action and followed due process to address these complaints that were brought o their notice, contrary to media reports that have suggested that suspension and investigation into Ankiti Bose were aimed at suppressing the said harassment claims, the startup said.

"The company is deeply pained and disappointed to see the manner in which the board, investors and employees have been constantly attacked through ostensibly leaked and fake information, along with what unfortunately appears to be paid and defamatory social media campaigns throughout the investigation period. This has caused irreparable damage to the company, the board, employees and investors," it said.

Meanwhile, Bose took to social media platform Instagram to respond to her termination. "I have been suspended for the last 51 days based on an anonymous whistle-blower complaint, and today I am informed that my employment has been terminated inter alia on grounds of insubordination," she said.

"I was suspended on the basis that the company had instructed investigators to investigate the complaint. I have neither seen the reports and not been given sufficient time to produce any documents requested by them," she added.

Bose said she has been receiving a constant barrage of online threats to her life and family. "Any report that comes out post my termination, would be vitiated as it seems to be instructed by conflicted parties and we will pursue our rights against this witch-hunt to the full extent of the law."

"I will be speaking on record shortly with more details about the conflicts of interest in the manner this process was run and other matters which are being used to defame me including the timeline of events," she said.

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