Ajit Thakur, head of Reliance content studio, resigns to seek 'legal remedy' against #MeToo allegation
Ajit Thakur, the head of Reliance Industries’ in house studio, has stepped down from his position amid allegations of sexual harassment. News reports said Thakur has resigned as he will be pursuing 'legal remedies' against his accuser.
Thakur was accused by Supriya Prasad, a TV Fiction Writing alumna of FTII. In a letter sent to the Screenwriters Association (SWA), that was later circulated on social media, Prasad alleged that Thakur — whom she met in April this year to discuss a job offer after exchanging messages via LinkedIn — made unwelcome advances and inappropriate remarks under the pretext of an informal interview.
In the complaint to SWA, Prasad wrote that Thakur called her to another executive's home for an interview at 8 pm. There they were joined by a producer and an actress. Prasad says during the course of the evening, she was coerced to consume alcohol (even though she informed Thakur she doesn't drink), while he touched her inappropriately and made remarks about her sex life. Prasad claims the others present were using cocaine. Her letter states that she finally left the executive's house at midnight, citing an out-of-town friend's visit, although Thakur and the others insisted that she stay.
Prasad’s letter says that Thakur contacted her to further discuss the job offer some days later, and she confronted him about how uncomfortable his behaviour had made her. She turned down the offer.
Taking cognisance of Prasad’s letter, SWA summoned her to hear her account. Speaking with The Hindu, Ketki Pandit, chairperson for SWA’s Internal Committee, confirmed that they had met with and heard Prasad’s plaint. “We received her application, met her and heard her story. We will follow the protocol now but we are in complete solidarity with her,” Pandit said, adding that an official communication was being sent to Ajit Thakur as well.
Firstpost’s messages to Supriya Prasad went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Ajit Thakur was mentioned in unverified allegations of harassment on social media, hashtagging the #MeToo, #MeTooIndia movements. Firstpost reached out to two of the handles from which these allegations were shared, however, the individuals who ran them refused to discuss these on record.
In a statement released to Pinkvilla, Ajit Thakur’s lawyer said, “He resigned so that he can pursue legal remedies. He was travelling and just got back and as soon as he came he tendered his resignation to pursue his legal remedies (sic).”
Thakur, an IIM-Lucknow alumnus, has previously had high-profile stints with Eros International’s Trinity Pictures, Life OK, Channel V and Sony Entertainment Television.
Network 18, of which Firstpost is a part, has received complaints of sexual harassment as well. The complaints which are within the purview of the workplace have been forwarded to our PoSH committee for appropriate action.
Updated Date: Oct 20, 2018 10:04:58 IST