#MeToo impact: Mumbai cops to ensure no sexual harasser is invited at their annual show

Updated: 14 November, 2018 18:04 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Team headed by a DCP-level officer is conducting background checks on celebrities on the invitee list to ensure no sexual harasser gets a place on stage at the annual show

Shah Rukh Khan poses with policewomen during Umang 2016. File Pic
Shah Rukh Khan poses with policewomen during Umang 2016. File Pic

The Mumbai Police are gearing up for their annual cultural event Umang, scheduled to be held in January 2019. And it's likely to be a smaller list of celebrities this time around, as cops want to make sure that anyone accused of sexual harassment or assault is not invited. The final list prepared will keep in mind the #MeToo movement, which has rocked Bollywood particularly hard.

A police team comprising a DCP is preparing the list of celebrities from different walks of life and going through each and every person's background. While the event is held in January every year, the exact date for this edition is yet to be fixed; planning for it, however, always begins two months in advance. Those usually in attendance include leading Bollywood and TV stars, and many of them perform as well.

A policeman checks arrangements during Umang 2015. File Pic
A policeman checks arrangements during Umang 2015. File Pic

A thorough check
When asked about this year's invitee list, a senior officer said, "We always do a background check on the performers invited to make sure s/he is not facing any criminal charges. This year, the #MeToo movement has taken the industry by storm, and several celebrities have been accused of sexually harassment. A few names are in the public domain, a few aren't, so we are taking all precautions before inviting them to our show. "Not only of those in the film industry, we will do background checks on celebrities from other domains too."

The black list
So far, the celebrities against whom allegations of sexual harassment have been levelled are actors Nana Patekar, Sushant Singh Rajput, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Alok Nath, filmmakers Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl and Subhash Ghai, screenwriter Mushtaque Shaikh, casting directors Mukesh Chhabra and Vicky Sidana, and author Chetan Bhagat, besides several TV actors.

In 2015, Bollywood singer Ankit Tiwari being invited to perform in Umang, which saw even Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in attendance, had kicked up a huge controversy. Women activists had alleged that the Mumbai Police was promoting a person having a rape case against him.

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First Published: 14 November, 2018 08:14 IST

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