Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta had recently accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment while the duo was shooting for a special song for the film 'Horn Ok Pleassss'. The actress had alleged that she was being forced into doing an intimate sequence for the song with Nana Patekar which in the song that was only supposed to feature Nana Patekar for one line. The actress had filed a complaint post the incident in 2008, but the matter reached to no conclusion. The actress then moved to the United States of America after the incident took place. Dutta recently returned to Mumbai after 10 years and shed light on the incident that took place around a decade ago, igniting India's very own 'Me Too' movement.
Recently, Tanushree Dutta was spotted at the Oshiwara police station where she registered an FIR against Nana Patekar, Ganesh Acharya, Samee Siddhiqui and Rakesh Sarang under IPC section 354 and 509. The actress left the police station after 5 hours after the statement was recorded by her and two other witnesses. After which, an FIR was registered against the four.
Republic TV got an exclusive access to Tanushree Dutta's statement which was recorded on Wednesday, October 10. In her statement, Dutta recalled the incident and said, "On the 4th day of the shoot, 26th March 2008, in between the shots was going on the set there were around 100 supporting staff including junior artists, dancers and others were present on the set and Nana Patekar against my will and consent started grabbing me by the arms and pushing me around on the pretext of teaching me how to dance even though he is not the choreographer when he was touching indecently and unnecessary in front of everybody but nobody objected and all were complicit in this behaviour by being silent spectators. I felt very uncomfortable because of his behaviour mentioned above and he has outraged my modesty I felt embarrassed like this his behaviour was inappropriate towards me."
She further added,"This behaviour was not natural and I did not feel comfortable about it. And his one line of the song was supposed to be performed by him alone and according to producer and director it should have been done on the very first day of shoot i.e on 23rd March, 2008."
About her complain to the director and producer of the film regarding Nana Patekar's behaviour, Tanushree Dutta said, "I complained about Nana Patekar's above behaviour to the producer, director and the choreographer on the same day. I was hoping that they would communicate and take some action to improve the situation. I was getting very disturbed, distracted and uncomfortable hence unable to concentrate on my work."
Talking about the intimate dance sequence which made her feel uncomfortable, Tanushree Dutta said, "I was called back on the set from my van for on set rehearsals before the shot, I was informed by choreographer Ganesh Acharya that new steps have been added in the dance sequence which was intimate and included Nana Patekar touching me in an inappropriate way. Samee Siddiqui, Rakesh Sarang, Ganesh Acharya and Nana Patekar had a joint meeting on set and they decided to include intimate dance steps without my consent, knowledge and will."
The 'Dhol' actress also accused producer Sam Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya of pressurising her for the intimate step with Nana Patekar. In her statement, Tanushree further said, "After I refused to do the steps, I was being forced and pressurized by the producer, director and choreographer to perform these new additional intimate dance steps while Nana Patekar was still on the set and was aware of the conversation and the fact that I had refused to perform intimate steps. At this point of time because I refused to perform the dance steps as I was not comfortable with steps, same time I was threatened by the Producer Samee Siddiqui that he will call the media to defame me in the film industry and boycott me."
Talking about what happened on that day, after the incident took place, Dutta said, "I walked away from the set into Vanity Van as they were harassing me physically and mentally also, therefore, it was unable me to bear and tolerate more harassment because all were supporting and taking the side of Nana Patekar and forcing me to do intimate dance steps. Hence from Vanity Van I immediately called my parents and manager Jamshedji and they reached on the set and they asked as to why Nana Patekar misbehaved with me and in reply the Producer clearly stated that in any situation you have to do these dance steps and without sorting out problem in some time they packed up the shoot and thereafter I was supposed to go home but when I step out of the vanity van I saw the media was already called out by the producer and I heard some political party worker chanting some party slogans of MNS. They started assaulting and damaging my car while I and my family were sitting inside the car trying to leave the venue. All these violent people who were attacking my car had come to support Nana Patekar as they were very angry at me for refusing to do dance step with him and complaining about his behaviour, anyhow we were rescued by the Police and escaped from the spot. We were taken to the Goregaon Police station to record my complaint."
After the incident took place, the actress was taken to Goregaon police station to record her complaint. Tanushree then knocked the door of Cine And TV Artists Association as she registered a complaint with the association which shut the case without any investigation. Talking about the same, Tanushree Dutta said, "After the above incident I was under tremendous shock and I suffered psychological trauma and was unable to take up work and suffered a huge monetary loss in crores of rupees. I decided to take action also by lodging a complaint with the CINE AND TV ARTISTES ASSOCIATION vide I made a written complaint dated 27th March 2008 which was registered as complaint form no. 556 dated 28th March of 2008 vide receipt no. 36914 in which I have narrated all the incident in details in my own handwriting of which I have provided copy alongside this complaint. CINE AND TV ARTISTES ASSOCIATION had passed an order and closed my matter without any investigation without considering my complaint for sexual harassment. The copy of this order is also provided herewith. CINTAA recently issued a public apology for handling this matter poorly in 2008."
Tanushree further also mentioned a comment that producer Sami Siddiqui made on a news channel on October 5, 2018, wherein he said that the actress must have been on her periods at the time of the incident. The 'Aashiq Banaya Aapne' actress has registered a complaint against Nana Patekar, Sami Siddiqui and Rakesh Sarang and Ganesh Acharya.
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