MeToo: Stand-Up comedian Kaneez Surka accuses Aditi Mittal of sexual harassment

Mumbai: Comic Kaneez Surka on Wednesday accused Aditi Mittal of sexual harassment, claiming the fellow comic "forcibly kissed" her on the mouth two years ago at a comedy show. The popular improv artiste, alleged Mittal violated her boundaries of personal choice and "humiliated" her in front of an audience of 100 and many comedians.

In the account shared on Twitter, Surka said, "Two years ago, at a comedy show, I was hosting at Andheri Base, in the presence of an audience of 100 and many comedians, Aditi Mittal walked up on the stage and forcibly kissed me on my mouth out of the blue and put her tongue in my mouth, while I was still on the stage and without my consent."

"It left me humiliated, shocked and completely stripped of choice. Every person is entitled to choice and boundaries and she violated mine." The comic, who recently appeared as one of the judges on Amazon Prime Video's "Comicstaan", said when she mustered the courage to reach out to Mittal a year ago, she first apologised but soon turned hostile towards her, leaving her confused and hurt.

Surka said seeing Mittal's name all over social media as "a champion of the cause" had been troubling her for some time. Surka said she once again spoke to Mittal Tuesday via a mutual friend to come out with a public apology and let her keep her identity secret. But this time Mittal "denied kissing me on the mouth, gaslighted me and asked to cross check".

"I have proof but I thought we believe the victim. Her actions yesterday have hurt me further and burdened me with the task of having to do this but I don't want to be silent anymore," she added.

A public apology for violating her consent would bring her closure, Surka said. Mittal retweeted Surka's post but has not issued any statement.

The comic has been reached out for a comment. In the #MeToo movement which is surging ahead, Mittal is the first woman to have been named for sexual harassment.

The campaign first hit the comedy industry last week when Utsav Chakraborty was accused by multiple women for harassment with AIB co-founder Gursimran Khamba been directly accused of misconduct. AIB's Tanmay Bhat has stepped away from the comedy collective and Khamba has been sent on "temporary leave of absence". 

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