Woman accuses choreographer Ganesh Acharya of making her watch porn

Mumbai: A 33-year-old woman associated with the film industry has written to the National Commission for Women (NCW) alleging that Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya used to make her watch porn videos whenever she visited his office in suburban Andheri.

In a complaint filed with the Amboli police here, the woman, an assistant choreographer, has alleged that Acharya and two women assaulted her during a function of the Indian Film and Television Choreographers Association (IFTCA) held in Andheri on Sunday.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) has now written to the Amboli police, asking them to submit a report in the matter within a week.

Apart from Acharya (48), the assistant choreographer has named two women, Jayashree Kelkar and Preeti Lad, members of his choreography team, in her complaint for assault, a police official said on Tuesday.

However, the Amboli police have also received a cross- complaint against the assistant choreographer from Lad and Kelkar, he said.

Senior inspector Someshwar Kamthe said, "We have registered the cross-complaint and will be calling the woman (the assistant choreographer) to the police station as part of further probe."

Calls made to Acharya for his reaction remained unanswered.

In her letter to the NCW, the woman, a resident of suburban Bhayandar, claimed that Acharya forced her to watch adult videos whenever she visited his office.

In her police complaint, she alleged Acharya had been also demanding commission from her for working in the film industry.

The complainant is also a member of the IFTCA.

Acharya, general secretary of the IFTCA, used to frequently call the complainant to his office in Andheri, the official said, quoting the complaint.

On January 26, when the assistant choreographer reached the IFTCA office, Acharya shouted at her and announced that she was being "suspended", the police official said.

Acharya grew furious after the woman told him that she is also an IFTCA member and allegedly asked his team member Kelkar to slap her, the official said.

"Kelkar and Preeti Lad hit me in public view which was captured on the CCTV," the complainant stated.

The police have registered a non-cognisable (NC) offence and are investigating the matter, the official added.

NC offence refers to an offence in which the police have no authority to apprehend a person for crime on their own. Under this law, the police require a warrant to arrest an accused and a court's prior approval to begin investigation.

Meanwhile, in their letter to the police, the MSCW has stated they have received a complaint from the woman, alleging she was not allowed to work in the industry and Acharya was demanding commission from her and forcing her to watch adult videos.

The MSCW has asked the police to take action in the matter and submit a report within seven days, another official said.

Speaking to PTI, the assistant choreographer said, "I appeared before the state commission and I will submit a fresh letter to them on Wednesday."

She further alleged there are others who have been sexually assaulted by Acharya, who would pay his dancers less than standard rates and sometimes not pay them at all.

Acharya is using his IFTCA post to take out his "personal grudges" on dancers and other members, she claimed.

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