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#MeToo: Actress Anurupa Chakroborty accuses filmmaker Pavel of misconduct

The actress claimed that the incident happened in 2016 and the director kept pursuing her for a long time, even proposing marriage.

Roushni Sarkar

Filmmaker Pavel, director of Babar Naam Gandhiji (2015) and Rosogolla (2018), has become the latest person from the movie industry to be accused of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Actress Anurupa Chakroborty has, in a Facebook post, accused the director of hugging and kissing her without consent. The incident allegedly happened in 2016. The director has refused to comment on the accusation.

Anurupa Chakroborty recently appeared in Birsa Dasgupta's Crisscross (2018), Addatime's web-series In Their Life and Zee 5's Kali. She also assisted Parambrata Chatterjee in Addatime's Feluda web-series.

According to Chakroborty, she was called by Pavel's casting director, Sourav Saha, to audition for a character in Rosogolla sometime in July 2016. "I was called by Pavel at his place one day after the audition," the actress, who was going through depression at the time, told Cinestaan.com. "He handed me the script and asked me to join the workshops.

"We were meeting regularly and he kind of understood I was not in a stable mental state," she continued. "On the third or fourth day at his place, he suddenly hugged me from behind and started kissing me. It was a shock for me as I did not anticipate anything of that kind and had found him to be quite polite in the first few meetings."

Chakroborty said she was so taken aback that she could not react strongly, but she managed to free herself and left the place in a hurry.

She said Pavel kept calling her thereafter and told her he would make her a star if she worked according to his wishes. He said he was making a new film and if she refused it would be her loss.

"I told him I don't need roles. Keep your film to yourself. I would rather leave this profession than give in to your demands," she recalled telling him.

But Pavel did not stop pursuing her, she said, and even proposed marriage. She said the director told her he was married forcibly in Purulia when he was working undercover to investigate the protocols of the Maoist groups active in the district.

"He told me he had no interest in that girl and kept begging me for marriage for the next six months," she said. "He told me he would 'settle' my life if I got married to him. I had to block him then. He tried to get in touch with me after a year again, but I did not respond."

Chakroborty said she had informed a few people of Pavel's acquaintance, but nobody came forward to help. "Everybody asked me to keep mum as I did not have any proof, which is true. That's why I did not tell anyone about the incident."

In her Facebook post, she stated that she later found out Pavel is happily married and his wife supports him unconditionally. She called the director an "unapologetic liar" and a "pervert".

When contacted, Pavel told Cinestaan.com that he does not want to make any comment in this regard because no healthy discussion is possible on such issues. "Tomorrow is Rosogolla's 50th day in the theatres and I am celebrating that," he said. "I have heard of her accusations, but I do not want to make any comment."

The director said he had been part of four films till now and nearly a hundred women have worked with him on his crew. "Why don't you ask them how I conduct myself on the sets?" he said. "I feel I will be there for another five years in this industry and time will give the best answer to her allegations."

Pavel had earlier sparked a controversy when he had said he did not receive credit for writing the screenplay of Parambrata Chatterjee's Shonar Pahar (2018).

Related topics

Sexual harassment