In an FIR lodged at Oshiwara police station late on Wednesday, actress Tanushree Dutta claimed that her complaint was not recorded properly when she first approached the police in 2008 with allegations of molestation and harassment against actor Nana Patekar and three others. They are accused of sexual assault and outraging the modesty of a woman.
In March 2008, Dutta had signed a contract with producer Samee Siddiqui’s Sunrise Pictures Pvt Ltd to appear in an item song in his film ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’, which was directed by Rakesh Sarang and starred Patekar.
Dutta was to be the only performer in the song, with Patekar delivering one dialogue that was to be initially shot separately, her complaint states. “Before the shoot, I had clearly mentioned that I will not enact and/or perform any lewd or vulgar or uncomfortable steps in the particular song,” she claimed in her statement.
The shooting of the song, which was choreographed by Ganesh Acharya and his assistant Daisy Shah, started at Goregaon’s Filmistan Studios from March 23, 2008, the complaints states.
Dutta claimed that on March 26, 2008, 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. He was touching indecently and unnecessarily in front of everybody but nobody objected and all were complicit in this behavior by being silent spectators”.
Dutta added that she felt “uncomfortable and embarrassed” as a result of his “inappropriate behaviour” and that he had “outraged her modesty”. She claimed that after complaining to the producer, director and choreographer, they changed the choreography of the song to include Patekar in it without her knowledge and consent.
When Dutta refused to perform the new “intimate steps” with Patekar and retreated to her vanity van, she claimed that Siddiqui threatened to “defame me in the film industry and boycott me”.
Unable to concentrate, Dutta said, she contacted her parents and when they arrived, she left the studio in her car. As she left, she claimed that, Siddiqui had already called the media and workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena who chanted slogans and banged on her car, allegedly preventing her from leaving the premises. She claimed that the men violently attacked her car “as they were very angry at me for refusing to do a dance step with Patekar and complaining about his behavior”.
While she managed to escape to Goregaon police station, Dutta claimed that her allegations of sexual harassment were left out and only a complaint of damage to her car was registered against mediapersons. Dutta also added in her complaint that she could not understand the contents of the FIR, as it was written in Marathi.
Dutta claimed that a subsequent complaint she registered with the Cine And TV Artistes’ Association was closed without proper investigation even as she was under “tremendous shock and trauma” and suffered monetary and professional losses. She added that on October 5, days after she spoke out again after a decade, she was publicly embarrassed by comments allegedly made by Siddiqui in a television interview.
“‘She must have been on her periods’. This statement by him has further outraged my modesty and embarrassed me in public again,” her complaint states. A senior police official said witnesses who were present in the studio at the time would be summoned and their statements recorded one by one.
“The complainant has stated that more than 100 people were present on the set at the time when the offence took place. We will speak to them and verify her allegations. We will then send a summons to the accused to present themselves for questioning,” the official added.