Renowned pakhawaj exponent Pt Ravi Shankar Upadhyay arrested for alleged sexual misconduct

The complaint said that the pakhawaj player had been harassing the woman for a long time during training and would also send her obscene messages over WhatsApp.

FP Staff December 19, 2020 10:32:06 IST
Renowned pakhawaj exponent Pt Ravi Shankar Upadhyay arrested for alleged sexual misconduct

The renowned pakhawak maestro, a guru at the prestigious Kathak Kendra in Delhi was arrested on 15 December. Image via Facebook

Noted pakhawaj artiste Pt Ravi Shankar Upadhyay was arrested on the morning of 15 December for allegedly molesting a 23-year-old student of Kathak Kendra. The complaint said that the pakhawaj player had been harassing the woman for a long time during training and would also send her obscene messages over WhatsApp.

Upadhyay, who is a guru at the prestigious institute, an affiliate of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, was named in an FIR filed on 12 December by the student. An Indian Express report noted that the purported CCTV footage of the incident has also been handed over to the police by Suman Kumar, the director of the institute.

The woman has been learning Kathak at the centre under the exponent Pt Jai Kishen Maharaj and was taking percussion classes with Upadhyay as part of a credit course. She was reported saying that the accused would touch her inappropriately whenever she touched his feet according to the custom.

Renowned pakhawaj exponent Pt Ravi Shankar Upadhyay arrested for alleged sexual misconduct

A 23-year-old student who was learning under the pakhawaj artiste has accused him of sexual misconduct. Image via Facebook

The incident that pushed her into lodging the complaint is said to have occurred on 14 December when Upadhyay allegedly molested her by 'putting his hands on her waist and kissed her on her forehead.' Following the incident, the student sent an email to Kumar and proceeded to file an FIR.

The Indian Express report quoted the director as saying, "I was yet to take any action when the police came in plain clothes and arrested him. I have already suspended him. We will fully cooperate with the police."

Upadhyay, son of the maestro Ramji Upadhyay, belongs to the Gaya gharana and carries forward a 400-year-old musical legacy.

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