KOLKATA: After the arrest of thespian Sudipto Chatterjee on allegations of rape, #MeToo has again taken Kolkata by storm with more skeletons coming out of the closet. This time Bengali band Moheener Ghoraguli's co-founder and one of the city's prominent music personalities, Ranjon Ghoshal, has been accused of sexual harassment by two women who took to social media to state their ordeal.
In a Facebook post, a woman accused Ghoshal of paedophilia, writing, "I was 16 when Ghoshal solicited a sexual relationship with me." She added that he would ask her to send explicit photos.
After the post went viral, a 50-year-old media personality alleged that she knew him since she was 10 years old and was sexually harassed by Ghoshal as well. "I used to call him kaku (uncle). One of my female colleagues and I were asked by our channel to work with Ghoshal. On a certain occasion, I was asked by one of his staff members to meet him. I went and realised that there was no one present in the office barring him. I was asked to sit beside him on the sofa and then he started touching me. As I cringed, he held me from behind and started rubbing his bearded face on my shoulder," she told TOI.
The woman had moved court where the proceedings went on for a year but later withdrew the case following a letter issued by Ghoshal. "I fought till the time I could. I could not forget the day and still feel violated. He is a habitual offender," she added.
When asked why she brought it up, she told TOI that she recently got to know about another incident that Ranjon was involved in and wanted everyone to be aware of the man's perversion.
Later, Ghoshal apologised and said, "I seek forgiveness. I know that my words and behaviour have crossed some people’s personal space. And for that, I tender an unconditional apology. I need to improve myself. No one should feel insecure in my presence, and in that matter, I’m going to be more careful now. 15 years ago, a young woman had accused me of obscene behaviour. That matter was heard and set aside by the courts. Now a decade-and-a-half later, she has brought this up on social media. In this context, while having a telephonic conversation with a print media outlet, I said a few things out of aggression. That was wrong. In fact, I seek forgiveness from whoever I have ever misbehaved with. I express my heartfelt regret and seek forgiveness from all of them.”