Rickshaw Puller Is Scared For Life As 'Aligarh' Reveals His Identity As Homosexual

02/03/2016 3:17 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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The rickshaw-puller who was caught having sex with deceased Aligarh Muslim University professor Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras is now scared for his life after the release of Hansal Mehta's Aligarh, according to a report by The Hindu.

The movie, which shows his character in bed with Siras (played by Manoj Bajpayee) during a love scene, has brought him unwelcome attention, he says. This, despite the unofficial ban on the film in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, by the city's mayor, some members of AMU's students action committee, and a fringe group; Aligarh had managed a few screenings in certain venues before it was pulled down.

"This is not something welcome. I have not watched the movie but those who did, told me that my actual name has been used in the movie. They have also disclosed the name of the place where I stay in Aligarh," he told The Hindu, in whose report he has been called Sarfaraz.

Apurva Asrani, the film's writer-editor, told HuffPost India that he didn't know how to react to this development as he wasn't aware of how much of it is fact and how much is hearsay.

However, the rickshaw-puller has been quoted by his real name in several news reports over the past six years, especially around the time Siras was found dead in his apartment. In 2010, several mainstream news outlets had reported that he had attempted suicide through self-immolation. A Times Of India report on the same said that although there were allegations of a witch-hunt against him by the local police, SP (City) Man Singh Chauhan had told the media that the rickshaw-puller had taken the extreme step because he was under financial strain.

Apurva Asrani, the film's writer-editor, told HuffPost India that he didn't know how to react to this development as he wasn't aware of how much of it is fact and how much is hearsay. "We did speak to him during the scripting of the film and he shared his experiences with us quite readily," he said. "In fact, he'd been quite forthcoming and told us that he felt that there was finally some justice happening for Prof. Siras. At one point, he'd also asked us for money, but we couldn't do that because it isn't that kind of film. The film is about Siras and what happened to him, not their relationship."

To further complicate matters, some websites (none that can be counted as reputed, mainstream publications) have reported that this person has filed a case against Mehta for misrepresentation, claiming that he is not homosexual and that Prof. Siras had forced him to have sex. Calls and texts to Mehta went unanswered, while Asrani said he had "no idea" about this.

Also see on HuffPost:

India's LGBT Movement: A Timeline

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