Actor Chetan, the founder of Film Industry for Rights & Equality (FIRE) and its president Kavitha Lankesh have condemned the assault on Kannada actress Samyuktha Hegde and demanded strict action against moral policing.
Samyuktha Hegde was allegedly abused and assaulted by Congress spokesperson and activist Kavitha Reddy for wearing gym costumes in broad daylight. The incident occurred at a park near Agara Lake in Bengaluru on Friday evening September 4. Several celebs including Jaggesh and Shraddha Srinath have expressed their concerns over moral policing and the latest to join them are Chetan and Kavitha Lankesh.
In a joint statement released by FIRE, the two said, "In light of Friday, September 4th, 2020's unfortunate incident against Kannada film actor Samyuktha Hegde in a Bengaluru park, the conscientious members of FIRE condemn such moral policing on the basis of attire against a fellow industry member as we would such inappropriate treatment against a citizen of any gender."
Chetan and Kavitha Lankesh also said that there is no space for moral policing in our constitution and everyone's freedom should be respected. The said, "FIRE holds that Constitutional freedoms must be maintained for all residents of our state and nation, and any 'transgressions' must be held accountable only through a defined legal course and not mob action or violence of any sort.
They added, "FIRE also expresses disappointment regarding the current sensationalization of issues based on rumours, mudslinging, and personal attacks of film industry women. We ask that future coverage be presented in more sensitive and responsible ways. FIRE hopes any attempts at moral policing and assault of women be punished to the fullest extent of the law."
However, FIRE is a non-profit organization of Kannada cinema members that has been working to build a safe, equitable industry workspace and society at large since 2017.