In the wake of India’s #MeToo movement, many prominent names have been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. Adding to the cases, one of India’s first female comedians Aditi Mittal has been accused by fellow comedian Kaneez Surka of sexual harassment during a performance two years ago.
Kaneez took to Twitter to share details of the incident. “I need to tell my story because it happened to me. Two years ago, at a comedy show that I was hosting at Andheri Base, in the presence of an audience of 100 and many comedians, Aditi Mittal walked up on stage and forcefully kissed me on my mouth out of the blue and put her tongue in my mouth, while I was still on stage, without my consent.”
She added that this incident left her in shock, she felt humiliated and stripped of choice as she was violated. “Every person is entitled to choice and boundaries, and she violated mine,” she added.
The improv artist wrote that she was compelled to share her story after witnessing that Aditi is being celebrated as a champion of the #MeToo movement on Twitter. Kaneez requested Aditi for a public apology twice but she refused to admit that she violated Kaneez and instead, gaslighted her and asked her 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. A public apology for violating my consent will be my closure,” Kaneez wrote.
— Kaneez Surka (@kaneezsurka) October 10, 2018
Soon after Kaneez, shared her experience, Aditi took to Twitter to share her side of the story, clarifying that her intentions ‘were not sexual in nature.’
“In January 2016, I was a participant of an open mic at Andheri (West) in Mumbai. Kaneez Surkha was the host. While up on stage to take the mic from Kaneez I gave her a peck on the lips (there was no tongue) as a joke, as a part of the act. The intentions were not sexual in nature.’
— Aditi (hot takes 4 koolkidz) (@awryaditi) October 10, 2018
She added that after her realization of having violated Kaneez, she is extremely apologetic for what transpired. “I realised after talking to Kaneez that it was a violation of her space and to this day bothers her very much. For this, I am unconditionally sorry.”
She further wrote that she did apologize to her in 2017 when the two spoke about the matter and her apology was accepted. “She accepted my apology and said she knew my intention was not to make her feel the way she did.”
However, in the wake of recent events, she issued a public apology which Kaneez had demanded.