Hyderabad: The NHRC has sent notices to the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as the Telangana government, seeking detailed reports into a protest by a Telugu actress who stripped in public to highlight her complaint of sexual exploitation of women in the regional film industry.
The NHRC has asked the state government and the ministry to submit its reports within four weeks, it said in a statement on Thursday. Following her protest, the Movie Artistes Association (MAA), an apex body of the Telugu film industry, had said on April 8 the aspiring actress would not be made a member of the organisation.
The police had also booked the actress under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code (obscene acts in a public place). “It appears to be an attempt to muzzle the voice of a whistle-blower both from the side of MAA and the state authorities,” the apex rights body said.
The NHRC has sent the notices to the chief secretary of the state government and the secretary of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The state authorities have to intimate the NHRC about existing or proposed mechanisms to the deal with the issue, it said. The commission is of the opinion that the “reported prohibitions imposed upon the actress”, barring her from acting in films and stopping others from working with her, were a “violation of her right to livelihood and live a life with dignity”.
The NHRC in the statement observed that the “issues raised by the actress demand action on the part of the state government in the form of a committee to address and redress the grievances of female actors and women employees, in case of any sexual harassment at the workplace i.e., the Telugu film industry in this case”.