08:36 GMT29 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian actress Tanushree Dutta, the flag-bearer of the #MeToo movement in Indian film industry, has criticised a recent rape-murder case involving an Uttar Pradesh lawmaker while questioning the prevailing state of affairs for women in the country.

    Tanushree issued a statement referring to the 28 July Unnao rape and murder case in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where an apparently orchestrated truck-car collision left a woman, an alleged teenage rape victim, critically injured, while killing two of her family members.

    The woman's surviving relatives allege that the accident was perpetrated by state legislator Kuldeep Sengar, who was accused of raping the victim in 2017. 

    "Our great nation India has been slowly and steadily turning into a rape epidemic-afflicted country! The Unnao rape case is a horrific reminder of this state of affairs," News portal India Today quoted Tanushree as saying.  

    The actress, who is a household name in India after delivering blockbuster Bollywood hits like Aashiq Banaya Aapne and Dhol, said multiple cases of rape, murder, child abuse and dowry killing are being reported across India.

    Urging a greater focus on women's safety, she noted a judgemental mentality in society that forces women to be “sanskaari”(cultural) in their dress compared to western women who wouldn’t mind wearing a bikini.

    “… Like seriously who in their right mind still feels high and mighty about our so-called "sanskaari" culture blah blah blah… that we tell ourselves to judge the rest of the world that wears shorts and bikinis? There are places in the world where women literally lie down nude on beaches and no rapes or eve-teasing happens,” she said.

    Tanushree unleashed a storm in the Indian film industry last year after accusing Bollywood actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on a movie set in 2009. While Nana rubbished the allegations and slapped Tanushree with a legal notice, her allegations triggered a series of #MeToo accusations with many women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault against eminent Bollywood personalities.

    The #MeToo movement had initially started in 2017 after revelations of alleged sexual misconduct against influential Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.


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