Kiran Nagarkar, Kolse Patil and Bartholomew accused of sexual harassment

Oct 06, 2018, 11:55 IST | A Correspondent

Either identifying themselves or writing anonymously, women have come out in droves on Twitter about being sexually harassed by various men in position of power

Kiran Nagarkar, Kolse Patil and Bartholomew accused of sexual harassment
Kiran Nagarkar and Pablo Bartholomew. Pic/Olivia Bonnal Sansoni

Following Tanushree Dutta and a woman comedian narrating alleged instances of sexual harassment by powerful men in their industries, scores of women have come out on Twitter, narrating their ordeals.

Some of those being accused of sexual harassment include the city's most acclaimed author, Kiran Nagarkar, award-winning photographer Pablo Bartholomew and retired high court judge and social activist Justice BG Kolse-Patil, besides several journalists and admen.

 While some women have identified themselves while levelling the allegations, most others wrote in anonymously to writer and journalist Sandhya Menon, who on Friday morning narrated facing harassment at the hands of senior journalists from two cities. Menon then posted their allegations on her Twitter account with their permission.

Kiran Nagarkar: Skype me at night
One woman journalist recounted about Nagarkar: I had to interview him a few years back in his hotel room. I went alone as the photographer cancelled on me at the last minute. At first he sat opposite me and then slowly came next to me and sat down and inched closer to me while I was moving away slowly.

When the interview was over i told him I would reach out to him if I have any questions. He said he'd give me his number and email id. Then he asked me to add him on skype and talk to him. He said I should try it with him, especially at night. He points to his comp and says he chats with many women on Skype. Then I say bye and move and he says we should hug. I tell him I am uncomfortable with hugs. I don't hug people I don't know. He forces me into one despite my saying no and held me for longer than necessary. Yes, and then he feels me up. I can still remember him lingering on my bra strap. At which point i push him and run out. He winked at me when I told him that. I was so disgusted that I wanted to throw up. But, i can never forget the room and everything in it where this took place. Or the way he felt me up."

Another young journalist remembers: "I interviewed him too. At his home in Mumbai. My photographer was there, too. I didn't think too much of it at the time, but the environment was one of the most uncomfortable ones i have been in. He did sit too close on the sofa. He insisted on a hug after. His hands lingered on my arms after, as he held my hand asking me to keep in touch. I brushed it off thinking it was... just what it was. It wasn't until you told me the other story that I realised i had normalised it for the sake of a byline.

Pablo Bartholomew: Short trip out of town
A young scribe remember being allegedly targeted by Pablo Bartholomew for not giving in to his advances: "I interviewed Pablo Bartholomew for an article. After the interview, he began calling my cellphone to ask me to accompany him on a short trip out of the city.

I politely declined, but he insisted, so I began ignoring his calls.  All this while I had to write about his work as if nothing had happened. He continued pursuing me and tried to track me down through my office line. I was in a state of panic and even apologised to him for being unable to take his calls. I wanted this to be over. Soon after, I was told by my boss that he had communicated his concern about my ability to write an article about his work. I was a young reporter and he a well-established photographer. He used his power to discredit me in front of my employers, while pressurising me to go away with him."

We could be friends: Judge Kolse-Patil
Judge Kolse Patil left another young reporter terrified: "This is about a former high court judge - he enjoys not only immense power but also knows how to use the law to his advantage. His name is Justice Kolse-Patil.

I had to record an interview on camera recently and there was a lot of background disturbance in the open area for visitors - so we had to do the interview inside his house. After i was done with the interview, i moved my chair and it hit his. I apologised and just as my back was turned, he pulled at my collar asking me why I had left the top button of my kurta open. I flipped and retreated in that nanosecond. He apologised profusely. He said he thought we could be friends. I am terrified, but I think it is time to speak up at least anonymously.

Kolse Patil continued to apologise to me and then pleaded with me to make sure this did not go out of this room. He said he would be 'destroyed'. Minutes after I left the place, he called me up asking me where I was headed and what my plan for the day was. I could sense the panic in his tone and voice and I don't know the repercussions of sexual harassment with a judge being involved.  So to rattle him and ensure he does not probe more, I said I am going to the police station."

When mid-day contacted Nagarkar's residence, another person answered and said the author will get back to us if he decides to respond to allegations. We did not get any response till press time. Text messages and emails sent to Bartholomew did not elicit a response. Justice Kolse-Patil denied the allegations and said this was "an RSS conspiracy" to defame him.

Also Read: Rakhi Sawant Gets Abusive Calls, Messages Over Nana Patekar-Tanushree Dutta Controversy

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