Kolkata: Dust storm created by the #MeToo allegation levelled against Bollywood filmmaker and well-known critic of Narendra Modi government’s policies Anurag Kashyap by starlet Payal Ghosh is yet to settle down. Amid it all another lesser known actor has alleged of sexual misconduct from the filmmaker.
Significantly, while there are several holes in the claims of the previous allegation raised by Ghosh but as she has managed to get quick support not only by several news channels and but also by the National Commission for Women. Adding meat to the shaky allegation was another actor Rupa Dutta. Following her social media post she too has been invited by many channels.
Ghosh has been getting support from the likes of Roopa Ganguly and Kangana Ranaut for her #MeToo moment, where she alleged filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of “forcing himself on her”. Chairperson of National Commission of Women, Rekha Sharma has also reached out to the Ghosh, advising her to formally report the issue to them, following which NCW India would look into the matter.
Dutta who also happens to be the State President (West Bengal) of Karni Sena, came forward both on Facebook and Twitter to share screenshots of a six-year-old Facebook chat with a person whom she alleged to be Anurag Kashyap. She took on to social media and even appeared on Television Shows, stating that Ghosh’s allegations were correct and that the filmmaker should be penalised for his acts.
Interestingly, the Facebook profile shared by Dutta, goes by the name Anurag Safar and is an unverified account. The user, in his profile has indicated that he hails from Gurgaon, Haryana and at present lives in Dublin Ireland. “Anurag Safar” interestingly, despite being an unverified account had a number of filmmakers and actors on his friend list. Many when contacted expressed shock and dismay. “This person Anurag Safar has been on my friend list for long. But I don’t think that he is Anurag Kashyap,” said filmmaker Siddhartha Jain. He further added, “I will immediately unfriend him, if he has been up to such mischief.”
eNewsroom also reached out to filmmaker and former film critic Ramkumar Singh, who also had Anurag Safar on his friend list to check, if Dutta’s claim of Safar being Kashyap was true. Singh, said, “Anurag Safar has been on my list for long. He definitely is not Anurag Kashyap. For I can recall a post of his on Facebook, in which he had clarified that he was not Kashyap. I think it’s a case of mistaken identity.” He then paused and said, “Well, don’t all Bollywood biggies have a verified account? Kashyap too has his verified handle on both Facebook and Twitter.” A check on Facebook revealed that Kashyap does have a verified acount.
A search through Safar’s FB and Twitter profile revealed that indeed, the person, as mentioned by Dutta in the screenshots dated 2014, used to run his profile in the name of Anurag Kashyap. He even made clarification about his identity not once but twice on social media. Following which he changed his name to Anurag Safar in 2009. But till date he gets birthday wishes and other Bollywood related posts to which he never responds.
Meanwhile, Kashyap, has not just denied the allegations levied against him but has also released a press statement to clear the air. The statement read, “It is sad that a social movement as the #metoo movement has be co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool of character assassination. Fictitious allegations of this nature seriously undermine the movement and seed to unconscionably trade upon the pain and trauma of actual victims of sexual harassment and abuse.”
Significantly, ex-wife of Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin and Arti Bajaj has also come in support of the filmmaker and claimed his good behaviour with his actors in fact both claimed that Kashyap used to ’empower’ women.
Interestingly, Abhinav U Kashyap, a Facebook friend of Safar took on to his FB wall and wrote, ““Hey, whats up? I just saw this girl sharing some snapshots of your old conversation with her on Twitter. By circulating this chat, she’s claiming to have spoken to film director “Anurag Kashyap” a few years back. Kindly check.” Am sure everyone would be waiting to know Safar’s reaction to this.
Fact checking site, Alt News has also debunked the wrong attributing tweet by Rupa Dutta.