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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)

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#MeToo: Mumbai Police Close Tanushree’s Case Against Nana Patekar

“In view of this, we shall oppose the B Summary Report and also file a writ petition before Bombay High Court,” Satpute added

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Nana patekar, metoo
'MeToo Movement' is far bigger than me: Tanushree Dutta.

In a significant development, the Mumbai Police have filed a closure report in the alleged #MeToo sexual harassment case lodged by actress Tanushree Dutta against actor Nana Patekar, a top official said here on Thursday.

“Yes, we have filed a B-Summary Report before the court,” Mumbai Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police Manjunath Shinge told IANS.

The police move comes after they reportedly did not find enough evidence in the matter, virtually ending the case as they cannot continue further investigations.

Dutta’s lawyer, Nitin Satpute said that they would challenge the police move in the matter.

#MeToo, Victim, sexual harassment
#MeToo strikes where virtue means lack Of opportunity. Flickr

“If the police file any B or C classification of Summary Report, that cannot be final. We shall oppose it before the court. After hearing, if the court is satisfied, then it can again direct the police to re-investigate,” Satpute told IANS.

He accused the police of conducting a shoddy probe in the entire matter, not recording the statements of many other witnesses, but relying on the evidence of only “one or two” witnesses in a bid to protect the accused.

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“In view of this, we shall oppose the B Summary Report and also file a writ petition before Bombay High Court,” Satpute added.

Dutta had lodged the complaint against Patekar in September 2018 accusing him of allegedly sexually harassing her over a decade ago, in 2008 during a shoot, but he (Patekar) had stoutly denied the charges levelled by her. (IANS)