Janice Sequeira, An Eyewitness Of The Incident, Backs Up Tanushree Dutta’s Harassment Allegations

NEW DELHI: Journalist Janice Sequeira has came into light claiming that the allegations of harassment made by Tanushree Dutta against Nana Patekar are true.

For all the people who aren’t aware about what happened, Tanushree had earlier, in an interview with Zoom TV, accused Nana Patekar of harassing her sexually on the sets of 2008 film Horn Ok Pleassss.

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Journalist Janice Sequeira who was present on the sets 10 years ago, took to Twitter to share her version of the incident.

She wrote, “Some incidents that take place even a decade ago remain fresh in your memory. What happened with #TanushreeDutta on the sets of “Horn Ok Please” is one such incident- I was there.”

Janice wrote that she was on the sets to cover the behind-the-scenes aspect of the song. However, when she arrived on sets, she was told the shooting has been stalled because Tanushree Dutta was being difficult.

She saw Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya and a producer having conversation, meanwhile Tanushree Dutta was upset about something.

“I could see Tanushree on set, visibly upset about something. #NanaPatekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya and a man (who I later found was the producer) were having a conversation, while 50-odd dancers sat waiting. The official version was that the ‘heroine was not cooperating’.”

“A while later, shooting resumed. Tanushree resumed work, and a couple shots later, #NanaPatekar joined her. Not long after that, Tanushree walked off set. Shooting halted again. She locked herself in her vanity van, refusing to come out.”

“Out of nowhere, goons turned up and began banging against the vanity van door. I was told the producers had called them to set. Cops arrived. Amidst this chaos, I got hold of #NanaPatekar. All he said was, “Meri beti jaisi hai”, which didn’t really make any sense at that point.”

“Eventually, Tanushree’s parents arrived to pick her up. Her car was attacked, the windshield broken. I tried to get in touch with Tanushree to get her version of events. Around midnight, she asked me to come to her place. In tears, she narrated what really happened.”

After three days, Tanushree told Janice, “Ganesh Acharya changed every step on the day of shoot. #NanaPatekar was never meant to be part of the choreography, but coerced the producers into getting him to shake a leg with Dutta”. All these changes happened after completing three days of initial rehearsals.

So in the new dance steps, a lustful dance step was introduced on the insistence of Nana Patekar, so he could touch Dutta inappropriately.

“Later, she said, a lewd dance step was introduced on the insistence of #NanaPatekar, so he could touch her inappropriately. That’s where alarm bells rang, and Tanushree decided to walk off set. What she didn’t expect was the aggression shown by the producers after.”

After contacted by Mirror Now, Nana Patekar laughed when questioned about the allegations and asked, “What does she mean by sexual harassment? We were on the set and there were 200 people sitting in front of us.”

Even now, Janice comes forward justifying what Dutta has been saying, the 2008 film’s choreographer, Ganesh Acharya, had spoken up in defence of Patekar. “He’s a very sweet person, he can never do that. He is very helpful and he has actually helped a lot of artistes in the industry, he can never do anything like that.”

He also added that he doesn’t remember what happened that day as the incident is from 10 years ago. “When I was called for rehearsal I was told that Nana ji was also there in the song. I don’t have the agreement with me because that time we used to do it verbally. But that particular song didn’t involve any kind of indecent step in the first place. It was pure dancing. That’s all”, he told News18.

Reacting to choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s statement on Patekar’s non-involvement in the issue, Dutta said to ANI in an exclusive interview that “He’s a bloody liar and a two-faced person. He’s going to say all that. And 10 years ago, he was one of those people who were equally complicit in the harassment. He won’t admit it.”

Calling the veteran actor a “pawn” in the entire scenario, Dutta alleged, “He’s not the end goal of this discussion. He’s the reason why this discussion started. I want the industry to ban these people from working just to set an example for others. You can’t get away with this behaviour. My fight is not with Nana Patekar or Ganesh Acharya. I don’t want them to work. I want them to suffer the consequences of their actions.”

When asked Dutta’s view on the Kerala independent MLA’s comment on calling the Kerala nun victim a ‘prostitute’, the 34-year-old actress said that it “shows the ignorance and mentality of our country.”

Let us remind you that an independent MLA from Poonjar constituency, PC George sparked a huge controversy after he accused the Kerala nun, who was allegedly raped by Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese, of being ‘a prostitute’.

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