Home News Reports Kolkata police arrest playwright Sudipto Chatterjee after women file complaints of sexual assault

Kolkata police arrest playwright Sudipto Chatterjee after women file complaints of sexual assault

The victim lodged a complaint at the Phoolbagan police station on Friday morning. The accused was first detained by the police and later, arrested from his Phoolbagan residence in the evening. During interrogation, the accused confessed to his crime, the officer said.

The renowned playwright and poet Sudipto Chatterjee has been arrested by Kolkata police on Friday evening on the basis of the complaint lodged by two women in different police stations accusing him of raping them on the pretext of teaching acting techniques.

Deputy Commissioner (south-east division) of Kolkata Police Debasmita Das confirmed the arrest on charges of rape but did not divulge further details. The court has granted 2 days of police custody of Chatterjee.

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The first allegation against him surfaced on October 17, wherein a theatre student Angela Mondal accused Sudipto Chatterjee, the helmsman of the theatre group Spectator, of sexually harassing her during a rehearsal.

A PhD from New York University, Chatterjee has taught at esteemed educational institutions across the world like New York University, University of California, Berkeley, Tufts University in the US as well as India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

In a Facebook post, Angela Mondal had written a detailed account of turn of events where she was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment by Chatterjee while ‘rehearsing’ for a sexual assault scene.

Describing her traumatic ordeal, Angela Mondal in her post, alleged that Sudipto Chatterjee had tried something similar on another occasion, however, she could vocalize her ‘NO’ this time, so Chatterjee stopped harassing her.

Mondal claimed that when she finally confronted Sudipto Chatterjee with a written statement on WhatsApp, he blocked her. Sudipto’s wife Annesha Chakroborty, who was aware of the entire incident since the beginning, asked her to forget about it because exposing these allegations would destroy their relationship, alleges Mondal in her post.

She said that she had informed few other members of Sudipto Chatterjee’s theatre group ‘Spectators’, but they could not take any measures against him due to his power and position, however, they showed empathy through personal chats.

Mondal said she filed an official complaint with the institution against him on Monday and on 16th of October she was called for a meeting at the college and during the same meeting, the authority had informed me that Sudipto Chatterjee had ‘apparently’ submitted his resignation a day before the hearing.

A day after, responding to the post of Mondal, two more women came up against sexual harassment charges against playwright and poet Sudipto Chatterjee. They too took to Facebook to reveal similar horrific experiences with him.

Sudipto had denied the rape charges, but he didn’t deny the detail of incidents narrated by the women. Instead, he defended his behaviour by saying that such techniques are required to teach ‘diaphragm breathing’, and he did all these with the consent of the women. He has even said that he using nudity and physical touch while acting to students and nobody complained before.

A senior officer of Kolkata Police said, “the victim alleged that the accused raped her a number of times since last year on the pretext of teaching her various breathing techniques that helped in acting. We have arrested the filmmaker and launched a probe into the complaint.”

The victim lodged a complaint at the Phoolbagan police station on Friday morning. The accused was first detained by the police and later, arrested from his Phoolbagan residence in the evening. During interrogation, the accused confessed to his crime, the officer said.

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