India News

#MeToo India: Writer Varun Grover Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations

Cinematographer Sahil Bharadwaj and writer Varun Grover are the latest people from the film industry to face allegations of sexual harassment as part of the ongoing #MeToo movement.


A woman, who spoke out on the condition of anonymity, said that writer Varun Grover harassed her when they were students at Banaras Hindu University (now IIT -BHU) in 2001.

The allegations were posted by another social media user, poet Harnidh Kaur.

Grover, who has been vocal about his support for the #MeToo movement, categorically denied the allegations. He said that he will post a detailed statement soon.

Another social media user posted on her account about her experience with Bhardwaj. She said that the cinematographer frequently lied about his marital status to women and tried to have unprotected sex with them.

Bhardwaj posted a statement in which he said that he had never lied about his marital status and that he had been in a consensual relationship with the woman for a few months in 2018.

Stand-up Comedian Jeeveshu Ahluwalia was accused of date rape by a woman. Aditi Mittal, a fellow comedian, posted the screenshots of the conversation she had with the victim on her social media account.

Actor Rajat Kapoor, writer Chetan Bhagat were also named in the #MeToo movement. Kapoor was called out by many women for his inappropriate behaviour with them. B

Earlier this week, comic Utsav Chakraborty was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women on social media. The allegations surfaced as part of a Twitter thread about Indian men behaving inappropriately on an Australian cruise ship. Chakraborty had reacted to this news item on his social media, which prompted many of the women he allegedly harassed to come out with their own stories.

At first, the comic denied the allegations. Then, he apologised and said that he was willing to ‘make things right’ but did not know how to go about it.

Soon after, women journalists from across the country, began to share their own experiences of sexual harassment on social media. Journalist Sandhya Menon shared her experiences with sexual harassment on social media. She named KR Sreenivas, Resident Editor at The Times Of India and a former DNA editor Gautham Adhikari as the colleagues who tried to harass her.

Sandhya Menon also shared on her timeline screenshots of private conversations she had with people who wanted to reveal their own experiences with sexual harassment, albeit anonymously.

Singer Chinmayi Sripada also took to Twitter to share her own experiences with sexual harassment. The singer says that her first experience with such an encounter happened when she was eight years old.

Journalist Mayank Jain was called out for for making unwelcome advances while writer Anurag Verma was accused of sending offensive Snapchat videos to several women. In the video, Verma allegedly took out a pack of biscuits from his shorts while making ‘sex noises’.

Verma also admitted to having sent sexually offensive videos to his contacts in Snapchat. He later said he has used the term “send nudes very loosely” and also said that it was a meme for him which he didn’t realize the damage he doing by sending it to people.

Sandhya Menon also shared screenshots of a conversation she had with a Muscat-based female journalist who said that singer Kailash Kher behaved inappropriately with her.

Indian author Chetan Bhagat came under the scanner when screenshots of a conversation he had with a journalist were made available on social media. The author has said in the conversation that he wanted to ‘woo’ the journalist.

Bhagat then immediately shared a long response to the allegations made against him in a Facebook post. He admitted to having the conversation and apologized to the journalist as well as his wife of 20 years, Anusha.

The Times Of India has said that they will launch an inquiry into the allegations made against its Hyderabad-based Senior Editor, KR Sreenivas. Gautham Adhikari, on the other hand, said that he always treated Sandhya Menon in a ‘fair and polite’ manner and said that he could not recollect the incident.  “I have no recollection of this. I remember Ms Menon as a colleague who I always treated in a fair and polite manner. I retired from the media industry a long time ago though I still write occasionally and I always treated my former colleagues politely. I am sorry if at any time I appeared to have been impolite though I don’t recall such occasions.”