Mumbai: Sexual harassment allegations against slam poetry star

Feb 08, 2018, 15:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Kommune has decided to suspend Reuben and plans to investigate the allegations against him

Sexual HarassmentRepresentational Picture

Famous slam poetry star in Mumbai, Shamir Reuben, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. The women posted their encounters with Reuben, as well as various inappropriate messages they received from him, on social media. 

Reuben is a highly popular member of the city's poetic society and can often be spotted at the live performance collective Kommune. The first of the allegations against Reuben emerged after Facebook member Sakina Bootwala put up a post detailing how Reuben treated her while she was still a minor. 

According to Bootwala, she decided to make her experience public after finding out that her's wasn't a singular experience. Her post also includes an attachment to 30-odd images, which include screenshots shared by other women, of "sexts" received from Reuben.

In the midst of sexual harassment allegations emerging across the world against powerful members of society, the incident comes as a shock tothe city. In her post Bootwalla details, "The reason I'm putting this out now, is because I have come into contact with multiple people who have made me realize that this was not just a single incident and there may be more who shall be encouraged to speak out if I do so."

She also added, "I think the poetry community ought to really be the safe space that we think it is. If there are any more girls out there who have had similar experiences, I urge you to speak about them, you have my support." 

Meanwhile, Kommune has decided to suspend Reuben and plans to investigate the allegations against him. In a post on Twitter the commune wrote, "Kommune recognises that posts have been shared about Shamir Reuben’s past conduct with certain individuals. The allegations made are of serious concern to us. Pending enquiry into these allegations, Shamir’s role at Kommune will remain suspended."

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