I&B ministry, Telangana govt served NHRC notices over actor Sri Reddy’s protest
Sri Reddy had stripped in public on Saturday to protest casting couch in the industry.Updated: Apr 12, 2018 18:13 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday served notices on the Information and Broadcasting ministry and the Telangana government, calling for detailed reports on the alleged sexual exploitation of women in Tollywood. The NHRC took suo motu cognisance of media reports about aspiring Telugu actor Sri Reddy stripping in public in Hyderabad on Saturday to protest casting couch in the film industry.
After the Movie Artistes Association (MAA), an apex body of the Telugu film industry, refused to make the actor a member taking a serious view of her protest, Sri Reddy accused some prominent people in the industry of sexually exploiting her. She even started ‘SriReddyLeaks’ page on Facebook for her campaign and leaked the pictures showing her in intimate poses with the son of a famous producer.
The NHRC has taken serious note of the absence of a committee to address sexual harassment complaints from women artistes in the film industry. It felt that the contents of the media reports, if true, are tantamount to inaction on the part of the state government.
The commission said that the reported ban on Sri Reddy and warning others from working with her are violation of her right to livelihood and live a life with dignity. The Centre and the state government have been asked to inform the NHRC about the availability or proposal to set up a mechanism to deal with the subject.
“The Commission has also observed that reportedly, legal action against the actress has been taken under section 294 of IPC but it is nowhere mentioned, if action on the serious allegations of casting couch and sexual harassment, levelled by her, has been taken by the authorities. Therefore, it appears to be an attempt to muzzle the voice of whistle blower both from the sides of MAA and the State authorities,” a release from the NHRC said.