Nobody knows if Tanushree Dutta was sexually harassed; says Mumbai Police
As police close sexual harassment case against Nana Patekar, here is what they told the court about why Tanushree's allegations don't stand
The Oshiwara police on Wednesday filed a closure report in the form of a B summary and submitted it to the Andheri metropolitan magistrate court in the sexual harassment case filed by actor Tanushree Dutta against actor Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, producer Samee Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang. They have listed six counts on the basis of which they filed the B summary, one of which says that police investigations revealed no evidence against Patekar. Dutta and her lawyer lashed out at the cops for only recording statements that supported Patekar.
The closure report was filed eight months after Dutta filed a case against Patekar, Acharya, Siddiqui and Sarang, alleging Patekar misbehaved with her in 2008 on the set of the movie Horn Ok Pleassss, while shooting for a special dance number. Confirming the development, senior police inspector at Oshiwara police station, Shailesh Pasalwad, said "The B Summary report has been filed before the Andheri Magistrate court as we have not found any evidence against the accused."
Another officer said, "Since the matter was 10 years old, we were completely dependent on the statements of witnesses who were present at the time of incident. We recorded 13 statements in the matter, which includes those of cameraman, assistant choreographers, back-up dancers, spot boy and makeup artist. A few witnesses were only aware of the delay during the shoot, but nobody knows if Dutta was sexually harassed."
Following are the six counts under which the report was filed:
Allegations against Patekar
Police investigations revealed that there has been no evidence against Patekar as the dancers, assistant choreographers, junior artists, cameramen who were present at the time of the shoot have not supported Dutta's allegations of sexual harassment.
Allegations against Siddiqui, Sarang
Siddiqui and Sarang had informed Dutta that she would be performing solo and Patekar would make a guest appearance. Police investigations revealed that before the song was shot, Dutta had rehearsed for it at Shariq hall in Andheri west on March 14, 15, 16, 18 and 20, 2008 along with dancer Sanjeev Havaldar, who was filling in for Patekar, which Dutta was fully aware of.
Allegations against Acharya
Dutta had alleged Acharya changed the choreography where Patekar was to touch her. Siddiqui, Sarang and Acharya had allegedly not informed her about the change in the dance sequence. Police report states that assistant choreographer Daisy Shah and Jyoti Kamble have not mentioned any change in choreography in their statements.
Dutta lost crores
Another allegation was that due to the mental stress caused by the incident, Dutta could not resume the shoot and lost crores of rupees. She had also claimed that she complained to CINTAA in March 2009, but they closed the matter without any inquiry. The police investigations revealed that soon after the complaint was made to CINTAA, they called a meeting along with 'AMTPPP officials', in which it was decided that Dutta would be compensated with R5 lakh. In the meeting, Dutta had allegedly had not mentioned about anyone misbehaving with her on the sets.
MNS pressuring cops
In her complaint, Tanushree had alleged that after the incident, the producer, director and choreographer along with MNS workers had pressured cops at the Goregaon police station to ensure her complaint — which her father had gone there to file — was not registered. It was also said that her father recorded his statement mentioning sexual harassment, but the cops did not record it.
The original case papers procured from Goregaon police station state that Dutta had refused to appear before the cops to record her statement claiming she is busy on a shoot.
According to the papers, her father had only mentioned an attack on Dutta's car by a group of people. He had not made any allegations of sexual harassment in the case.
Period on TV
Dutta had told cops that Siddiqui mentioned in a clip shown on a news channel that she must have been on her period on the day of the contentious shoot. The cops received the video from the said channel and upon inquiring with Siddiqui, he said the reporter had asked him if Dutta cancelled the shoot due to fever, physical stress or her period, to which Siddiqui said she could have done that because she was on her period.
What Nana Patekar told the cops
"On March 26, 2008 , I reached Filmistan Studio between 10am and 11 am. I was unable to do the dance steps and Ganesh Acharya's assistant was helping me with it. I was taking 25 to 30 minutes to learn one dance step. On the other side of the stage, around 30 to 35 feet away from me, Tanushree was doing her steps with assistant choreographers. Later, she went to her vanity van once she was done. After lunch, we were all on the sets. I and Tanushree were dancing, and there was some distance between me and her, but she suddenly left from the shoot, I don't know why. She locked herself in her vanity van. Acharya and his assistant were trying to speak to her, but she didn't respond. As she didn't turn up, the shoot was cancelled and I left for home. Later, I was told by director Rakesh Sarang that Tanushree has alleged that I had misbehaved with her, which I had clarified at the time while speaking with the media that she is like my daughter. Two days later, I recorded the same sequel with actress Rakhi Sawant. After this episode, I and Tanushree once came face to face at the International Film Festival in Goa, we both made eye contact and smiled at each other. After that I never met her."
Dutta and her lawyer lashed out at the police for recording only statements which support Patekar. Dutta said in her statement, "Our witnesses have been silenced by intimidation and fake witnesses have been put forth to weaken the case. What was the rush to file a B summary report when all of my witnesses have not even recorded their statements yet? I'm neither shocked nor surprised; being a woman in India, this is something we all have gotten used to. If rape accused Alok Nath got a clean chit and returned to movies, then it was surely not going to be difficult for harassment accused Nana Patekar to get himself or shall we say buy himself a clean chit to continue to bully hapless young women."
"I am tired of fighting alone against oppressors, bullies and a corrupt system. I have better things
to do in life with my talent and skills and I need to focus on those, but please don't take this example to mean that you will not be heard when you speak up. Continue to expose these creeps through social media and other platforms so that in the future, people would think twice before troubling an innocent young girl. I still believe that I will get justice and victory will be mine. How, only time will tell," said Dutta.
Her lawyer Nitin Satpute told mid-day, "Police acted negligently to protect Patekar. The statements of many witnesses have not been recorded yet. The statement of witness Shyni Shetty's statement was not recorded completely, moreover, statements of hairdressers Aliza, Wasim and Mir and seven other witnesses were not recorded. Cops have taken statements of those who know nothing. We will appeal before the court to re-investigate the matter."
Earlier, Satpute had claimed to have an audio recording of one of the witnesses where Patekar can be heard pressuring a witness to not speak. However, that recording has not been submitted to the Oshiwara police yet. Responding to the lawyer's statement, Pasalwad said, "They never came to us with any list of witnesses." mid-day had reported on May 15 in 'Witness statements don't support Tanushree's story' about how Oshiwara police had not gotten a single statement corroborating Dutta's allegations. Cops had said they are helpless as witnesses claimed they were unable to recall what happened during the 2008 shoot.
What is a 'B-Summary'?
A 'B-Summary' report is filed when the police do not find any evidence against the accused to file a charge sheet and seek trial. If the court accepts it, it would mean that they have acknowledged the clean chit given by the police.
The six counts
1. Patekar did not sexually harass Dutta, based on statements of dancers, assistant choreographers, junior artists, cameramen
2. Samee Siddiqui and Rakesh Sarang informed Dutta that Patekar would make a guest appearance
3. Acharya did not change the choreography for Patekar to touch Dutta
4. CINTAA acted on her complaint and ensured Rs 5 lakh compensation
5. Goregaon police station was not pressured to drop case against the accused, according to original papers from police station
6. Siddiqui said on TV, reason Dutta cancelled the shoot was because she was on her period
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