Indian filmmaker named in MeToo found hanging

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Indian documentary filmmaker Arghya Basu was found hanging in his Kolkata apartment, local media reported.

Arghya Basu, a 48-year-old documentary filmmaker from Kolkata hanged himself, apparently due to depression, IANS quoted Survey Park Police as saying on Monday.

“Arghya Basu living in Santoshpur area was found hanging in his flat on March 1. He was declared brought dead in a hospital,” an officer of the Survey Park police station told the news agency.

Arghya Basu was accused of sexual harassment by a renowned filmmaker, alongside other perpetrators, in end-2017. The filmmaker mentioned Basu’s name in her social media post on #MeToo.

Journalist and one of the first people to bring the #MeTooIndia movement on Twitter, Sandhya Menon, wrote on the micro-blogging platform, “My deepest sympathies to Arghya Basu’s loved ones. It distresses me and I’m sure others working towards safer workplaces when such a thing happens. I think about all the consequences that arise out of something like this and how defeating it is all around – for men and women.”

Menon wrote, “This, for me, highlights more than anything else how ICCs are consistently failing. That women took the extreme step of public naming because they had no faith in redressal systems.

FTII cleared Basu without a probe on the technicality that there was no official complaint.”
Investigation revealed that the flat in which Basu was found hanging was locked from inside.

Ankur Das, a friend of Arghya Basu, told the Times of India, “After the accusations against him in end-2017, he suffered bouts of depression. Around April 2018, he took his family’s advice and underwent counselling for a month.

After that, he was taking up freelance work. He edited a Tamil film, which was screened at the Rotterdam film festival. He completed editing a Marathi film. Now, both of us were working to launch our own venture. He also loved to dabble in organic farming. So, this was very shocking. I have spoken to his family and they are completely devastated.”

A top Indian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said last week that at least 300 suspected militants were killed in the air strike, while the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah, put the figure at more than 250.