A singer in West Bengal has alleged that police constables, officers and civic police volunteers bullied and harassed her when she went to perform at a soiree organised by the police in Dantan district.
Mekhla Dasgupta, who shot to fame after participating a television reality show, recounted her ordeal on her way back from the performance on 10 November on Facebook. Later, she did another Facebook Live video where she reiterated all the allegations.
Dasgupta took to Facebook in the dead of the night, panting and anxious, and began by apologising to her followers about going 'live' unannounced. She said, "I have gone live without announcing, because I am in great danger. I am returning now, but with great risk to my life. I am not sure if I am will be able to return safely." She kept repeating that she felt helpless and scared and said that since she was not travelling in her own car, she would return home and then narrate the entire ordeal.
She went live on Facebook the next afternoon and reiterated that she had to go 'live' in the dead of the night because she felt that she was in grave danger.
She said that the car she was travelling in the day before had been provided by the organiser of the programme so she couldn't narrate what happened right then.
"When I began the first song, I heard a group of men screaming, 'this won't do, sing dance songs'. So I changed and sang a few fast songs. I think a lot of them were slightly drunk and were dancing as well," she said.
She then went on to add that one of the organisers kept telling her to move to the left part of the stage as 'respected police officers were sitting there'.
"There were constables and some mid-ranking police officers... their demand was, not only should I sing fast-paced numbers, I should go and sing in front of them specifically, and also go near them and make them dance," she said.
Dasgupta said she felt uncomfortable with their behaviour and refused to go near them a second time after obliging them the first time. After that, the men began making wild, angry gestures at her, commanding her to come near them and sing and dance for them.
At that point, she said, she lost her cool and requested from the stage to "please let me sing, because that's what I am supposed to do here." She also appealed to the men to behave properly after continued harassment.
That riled the men even more, she said, and they started hurling abuses at her.
Anandabazar Patrika reports that Dasgupta was approached by a man named Subroto Roy for the performance. However, she said in her live video that once she turned up at the venue she couldn't find this man.
She alleged that the crowd was already drunk and livid that another male reality show star—who the organisers had said would perform—didn't turn up. She finally took the stage at 10pm, three hours after her promised slot.
When ABP reached out to the Dantan police, they told the newspaper that "they are looking into the matter".