After comedian Varun Grover was accused of sexually harassing a woman back in 2001, when both of them were students at Benaras Hindu University, Varun had defended himself by providing evidence to counter the allegations.
Now, a friend of the woman who had accused Grover of harassment has come forward and claimed that all allegations levelled against Grover are true and even dared the comedian to take the legal route. One Faiz Rehman, who goes by the name ‘Fez‘ on Twitter and identifies himself as ‘Militant Ambedkarite’ who ‘stopped BJP from winning his Nagar Panchayat’, has claimed that the sexual harassment allegations against Grover are true.
The columnist with Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint, who had first posted the anonymous account leveling charges against Grover, also confirmed that it was ‘Fez’ who had shared “his friend’s” story anonymously. Fez then took to Twitter to lend his support and issued a statement which read ‘#IRideForMyHomie’
— Fez (@Multibility) October 16, 2018
He said that the ‘survivor’ is his friend and the semantic differences pointed out by Grover will not dilute his support to his friend. Faiz Rehman then reveals how the victim is a ‘Dalit Bahujan survivor’ who has fiercely guarded her privacy and hence does not want to come forward.
Umm.. how did the dalit bahujan identity come into this discussion? Either she went to ITBHU or not, and that’s clearly verifiable. This is not a question of belief.
— Himanshu Gupta (@HalfRebel) October 16, 2018
‘Fez’ has urged Grover to take a legal recourse if he still contests the claims.
Please. I have openly stated. Let’s go to court if Mr Grover wants
I have said it multiple times
And the survivor?
Said all she had to say. https://t.co/It2fypFmiQ
— Fez (@Multibility) October 17, 2018
On 9th October, a columnist with Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint had shared screenshots where a girl accused Grover of misbehaving with her when she was a student at BHU and Grover, her senior. Following the allegations, Grover had given his side of the story, pointing out discrepancies in the allegations raised against him.
The story, as narrated by the victim anonymously, dates back to 2001 when Varun Grover was the victim’s senior at Benaras Hindu University. The victim recounted that Varun was the head of the dramatics society and she looked up to him for his skills.
She said that one afternoon, Varun invited her to rehearse for the annual fest and told her that she reminded him of Tillotama, the Apsara. Varun Grover had told her that he was writing a play and she would be the lead role as Tillotama.
They finally met at a music club where he was to give her insights into what role she is to play. He said that she was to play a character which was playful and childlike but also destructive.
She alleged he kept calling himself Vishwakarma, which she at the time thought was a joke. She said that he asked her to walk towards him from a distance with her arms extended, which she thought was part of acting. He then snuck up behind her and grinded against her which made her feel terribly uncomfortable. The victim said that she pushed him away and yet, he held her hand and said he was Vishwakarma and she was Tillotama.
Varun Grover has termed this account fictitious. He has also offered to extend full cooperation in the investigation, while pointing out discrepancies in the account narrated by the anonymous user and the actual situation during his time at IT-BHU.
Grover pointed out that he studied at IT-BHU and not BHU, as the anonymous account said and there was no ‘dramatics society’ as claimed. He clarified that there was no play he wrote or directed which had the characters Vishwakarma and Tillotama and urged people to cross verify it with those in the theatre club and also his other batchmates. He later even called it a hit job on himself.
But now the ‘militant Ambedkarite’ Faiz Rehman has come out in support of the victim, who according to him is a Dalit-Bahujan survivor, and urged Grover to take a legal course.