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Asked to remove her clothes, woman lodges complaint against theatre actor

The Hyderabad police on Wednesday registered a case against a popular theatre actor for allegedly asking a 21-year-old female student to remove her clothes as part of the course at his theatre workshop.

According to the complaint lodged by the woman with the Narayanaguda police, she had been attending classes in acting and dancing for the last two weeks at Sutradhar, a theatre group and acting school at Himayatnagar. The school was run by Vinay Varma, a reputed theatre artiste in Hyderabad.

“On April 15, I went to the workshop at Sutradhar Theatre in the morning. As classes were going on, Varma asked us to close the doors and windows and then asked us to remove our clothes. Everybody was shocked and could not say anything. There was only one more girl in the class and the others were boys and all of them obliged. However, I strongly resisted,” the woman told reporters after lodging the complaint.

She said Varma got angry when she questioned why she should remove her clothes. “He shouted at us saying whoever was not willing to do what he said, would be thrown out. While the others obliged, I came out and decided to lodge a complaint,” the woman said.

When contacted, Varma admitted that he had asked the students to remove their clothes, but had never insisted that it was compulsory. “I did not ask them to become completely nude but only asked them to take off their shirts or upper clothes. It was part of the acting workshop, which has been going on for several years. This was only to make them act according to the given situations. It never turned into a controversy in the past,” he explained.

He said when the woman made it a big issue at the workshop he had asked her to drop out from the acting workshop and had even offered to return her fee. “But she got offended and I understand her feelings. She lodged a complaint with the police. Now I will explain my stand in court,” Varma said.

The Narayanguda police registered a case against Varma under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (insulting the modesty of a woman) and have taken up the investigation.

Sutradhar theatre group has been staging shows and training actors for the last two decades. Varma, who shot to fame with his popular drama “Main Rahi Masoom,” has also acted in several films in character roles.

First Published:
Apr 17, 2019 18:57 IST

Source: HindustanTimes