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#MeToo case: Bollywood assistant choreographer alleges harassment

Complaint lodged with Amboli Police, State Commission for Women

An assistant choreographer in the Hindi film industry has complained to the Amboli Police and the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW), alleging harassment by choreographer Ganesh Acharya, who was also named as a co-accused by actor Tanushree Dutta in her sexual harassment complaint against actor Nana Patekar. The police, however, have filed a closure report in Ms. Dutta’s case.

According to Amboli Police, the complainant approached them on Sunday alleging that she had been assaulted by two women at Mr. Acharya’s behest at a club in Andheri.

‘Membership suspended’

“The complainant was at the spot to attend a meeting of the Indian Film and Television Choreographer Association (IFTCA) on Sunday afternoon. She has said in her complaint that Mr. Acharya first had her membership suspended. When she turned up at the meeting to protest against it, he asked two female members from the IFTCA to assault her and throw her out,” an officer with the Amboli Police said.

The Amboli Police registered a Non Cognisable Complaint in connection with the matter, and the complainant subsequently wrote a formal application to the MSCW on it.

In her letter, she has stated that, after being elected as general secretary of IFTCA, Mr. Acharya began asking for a “cut” of ₹500 per dancer every time she secured an assignment to coordinate a dance on any set, to which she refused.

“He also insisted that I become his assistant, but I refused as I wanted to work independently. Whenever I visited his office, he would be watching pornographic videos and even asked me to do the same, saying I would enjoy watching them. I lost my temper and told him to never contact me again,” the letter states.

‘No work’

She has further alleged that after the above incident, she received a letter saying that her membership to IFTCA was suspended. Mr. Acharya also wrote to other members of the IFTCA instructing them to not work with her. As a result, she had not received a single assignment in the past two months and everybody she approached would tell her to “clear her issues” with Mr. Acharya, her letter states.

On Sunday, when she reached the venue of the meeting to put forth her issues, Mr. Acharya began screaming at her and two other women with him, at his behest, started assaulting her till other members intervened, she alleged.

Counseller assigned

“We have received the complainant’s letter and have assigned a counsellor to the case. Further action will be taken as deemed necessary,” an MSCW official said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:52:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bollywood-assistant-choreographer-alleges-harassment/article30676904.ece

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