#MeToo: Another sexual misconduct slur on noted painter Jatin Das

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New Delhi: A day after conservationist Nisha Bora brought allegations of sexual misconduct against noted painter Jatin Das, a second such allegation has been made by writer Garusha Katoch under the #MeToo crusade, accusing him of trying to kiss her forcibly when she had interned under him in 2013.

The “renowned painter… tried to take advantage of me when I was 20. Five years too late but it is about time I speak up”, Katoch tweeted thanking the Nisha Bora for coming forward and speaking up.

In a detailed post Katoch wrote: “I was 20 years old in December 2013 when a friend of mine informed me about an internship opportunity at JDCA. I cleared the interview and started work the very next day. The office had no more than 5-6 interns.”

Katoch said that on the first day of the internship Jatin Das came by in the evening and had a chat with her where he, explained the work he does. “I left home with my friend around 8pm,” she said.

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“On Day 2, I remember we were preparing for the Orissa Film Festival. Jatin Das came in the morning and instantly made me sit next to him which alienated me from the other interns. Puffing his cigarettes, he commented ‘ I smoke a lot don’t I? You should stop me the next time’. The comment struck odd to me. Around 5 pm, almost everybody left but he gave me more work. Around 8 pm finally a senior at the organisation walked past and offered to drop me home owing to late hours,” Katoch said.

She said in her tweet that Das everyday delayed her after her work hours while other interns left the Shahpur Jat office in south Delhi at 4.30 p.m., he would invariably make her linger on till 7 or 8 p.m. piling some job on her at the last moment.

On Day 3, Das offered Katoch to move in with him in a spare room to save her rent, but the writer said: “I felt cagey and my chest tightened. In my mind I knew it was my last day. I will quit.”

He offered her a ride as it was way after her working hours, Katoch said and Uber and Ola were still not there. She said only a year had passed after the “Nirbhaya” episode and she took his offer.

But Das took a detour, she claimed, and first took her to his home in Asiad Village in Hauz Khas to show her a spare room and that’s where he tried to kiss her.

He also tried to put a pair of socks on her “beautiful feet” saying “You must be so cold…I had never felt so disgusted before”, she added. Katoch panicked and did not know how to reach out to her parents who lived in Himachal Pradesh.

“So why am I speaking now? Not because I am a victim, not because I have any agenda. I am speaking now so that any woman or man going through this at workplace or beyond does not go through what I went through.

“Self-doubt, fear of the powerful figure, fear of the society or or fear of going out is not your destiny. Don’t take 5 years or 10 years to speak up,” she wrote.

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