Singer Sona Mohapatra launches online petition against Kejriwal government for inviting MeToo accused Kailash Kher to perform at Mayur Utsav

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Singer Sona Mohapatra, who alleged sexual harassment against singer Kailash Kher, has launched an online petition against the Delhi government’s decision to invite him to perform at an ongoing cultural festival in Mayur Vihar.

Sona Mohapatra

The online petition, which has been signed by more than 7,000 people, reads, “I am not the only one. With the #MeToo movement that has taken India by storm, there are other women who have raised their voice against Kailash Kher. Be it a photojournalist, a fan or another journalist – all these women have been sexually harassed & come forward with their names. Many others including two minors have shared their stories from anonymous accounts to avoid being shamed or intimidated.

“That is why I am shocked to learn that Kailash Kher has been asked to headline a performance at the Delhi Government’s Mayur Utsav that begins today. Action needs to be taken against perpetrators. Sign my petition asking the Delhi Government to withdraw Kailash Kher’s invitation from the Mayur Utsav being hosted in Delhi.”

Mayur Utsav is billed as East Delhi’s biggest cultural festival and is being held for three days starting 14 December. Kher is expected to perform today, when the festival comes to an end.

Sona wrote in her petition, “I am hopeful that the Delhi Government which is keenly aware of women’s safety as a critical issue will listen to #MeToo survivors and their citizens when we ask them to drop Kailash Kher. That is why I am asking you to sign and support this petition to the Delhi Government.”

Sharing her MeToo experience, Sona had written in October this year, “I met Kailash Kher for coffee in Prithvi Café to discuss a forthcoming concert where both our bands were playing. “You are so beautiful,” he said with his hand on my thigh. I left not soon after.

“It did not stop there. On landing in Dhaka and on my way to the venue with the organisers, I kept getting calls from him. When I didn’t pick up, he called the organisers phone to get through to me. “Skip the soundcheck and join me in my room to catch up?”

Mohapatra’s petition is gaining momentum even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Sunday to express his solidarity with women on the sixth anniversary of Nirbhaya gang-rape. He wrote, “Six years ago on this day one of the most brutal and worst crime was committed in the history of Delhi. Only way to keep the brave Nirbhaya alive in our minds is to ensure a strong struggle for women safety despite all hurdles in our way.”

A month later, she was out of Zee TV’s famous reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which she was judging with Wajid Khan of the Said-Wajid duo and Shekhar Ravjiani of the Vishal-Shekhar fame.

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