Youth media company Homegrown's co-founder and head of marketing head Varun Patra has been accused of sexual harassment. The survivor who wishes to be anonymous made the revelations through artist and poet Priyanka Paul's social media accounts. Paul took to social media sharing screenshots of the survivor's WhatsApp chats with Patra.
It also includes a detailed account of the woman's sexual encounter with the Homegrown co-founder and how he went against her consent during the act. The open letter states that a few months ago, the survivor went out on a dinner with Patra. Later on November 11, 2018, Patra came to her home and, they had sexual intercourse during which he did a non-consensual sex act. Patra is also accused of recording the incident on audio without her consent. #MeToo in India: Terribly Tiny Tales Co-Founder Chintan Ruparel Steps Down Following Allegations.
Patra admitted that he had recorded his sexual encounters with other women too. He allegedly told her that the audio recordings were to ensure he is not wrongly accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of the rise of #MeToo movement in India.
Sharing the survivor's statements on Facebook, Paul wrote, "The following account is about Varun Patra (Co-founder of Homegrown). The woman whose account this is, has requested anonymity. Note: The recordings mentioned are audio recordings."
Here is the Facebook post by Priyanka Paul on behalf of the survivor:
The incident garnered attention on Twitter after writer Shruti Sunderraman shared it on Twitter. Here is the tweet:
Homegrown's co-founder Varun Patra has been accused of sexual harassment. I just read the painful account of the accuser on @artwhoring's Instagram stories. MY BLOOD IS BOILING. Your time's up, pseudo wokeboi. #MeToo #MeTooIndia
— Shruti Sunderraman (@sundermanbegins) January 3, 2019
In the letter, the survivor has also penned down her disappointment with Homegrown and the company's CEO and Patra's sister, Varsha Patra. It also says that Varsha Patra tried to contact the survivor to discuss the matter and to stop it from going public.
Following the accusation, Varun Patra took to Facebook with his side of the story. Giving clarification by detailing two separate incidents, he also apologises saying, "At this point, I can only take responsibility for my hasty decision. And I have apologised immediately and without pre-meditated thinking, because I genuinely believe that I need to do better, and be better."
Here is Varun Patra's Facebook post on the accusations levied on him:
The survivor did not report the incident as she was worried of it affecting her career or being called out. According to the letter, Varsha Patra contacted the survivor in an attempt to discuss the matter and prevent the situation from going public. Homegrown is known for being one of the most progressive and feminist content.