Social Media Outcry Against Indie Musician Who Got Off Scot-Free After Committing Sexual Assault
A public post on Facebook details incidents of violence allegedly involving Navi Mumbai guitarist Tanay Kasera four years ago
Earlier this week, a public post outing Navi Mumbai guitarist Tanay Kasera for sexual assault emerged on social media. Detailing an incident from October 2014, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Abhilasha Sinha (a friend of the victim, who is a writer also based in Mumbai) recalled how Kasera, the guitarist for instrumental act Circle of Fifths, had been an abuser on several instances.
The writer anonymously told Rolling Stone India about instances of assault through 2014, when she and Kasera were in a relationship on and off until end of March 2015, when the latter fractured her spine in a physical assault at his Sanpada studio. “He would’ve done more than break my spine. He stopped hitting me because the neighbors saw it from the terrace and called the watchman. They were screaming from across to tell him to stop hitting me and that’s the reason why he stopped,” she says.
Among those present at the studio at the time of the assault, one musician says in the huge, sound-proofed studio surroundings, the first thing he noticed at the incident was the victim weeping and walking out of the house. The musician, a former friend of Kasera, says “he didn’t seem like a violent person.” He adds, “We weren’t first-hand witnesses to the assault that happened, none of us were complacent enough to not have done anything about it had it happened in front of our eyes.”
The writer says she had reached out for help from people present at the studio, but did not receive aid. In late 2014, she filed an F.I.R. at Kharghar Police Station after Kasera had stabbed her, during which authorities came to a jam room in Navi Mumbai to pick up Kasera, who at the time rehearsing with members of thrash metal band Asylum. Their bassist Anubhav Rattan says they followed Kasera and the police to the station to know more. “While the police didn’t tell us anything, they weren’t letting him go either. He assured us that everything was fine and it was nothing to be worried about. It was a little confusing, but we didn’t press and decided to push off, since it didn’t seem like anything serious.” Rattan – who met the victim on their way out of the police station – were later intimated of details of the assault by her.
The writer, a minor at the time, says the trauma of the first instance of assault in 2014 only worsened in the process of filing an FIR. She says there was no follow-up call or summon from the police station.
In the recent social media post, Kasera – who did not respond to a request to comment for the article – reacted with a want for moving on. But even for the writer, when she called Kasera out for his actions after the second assault in 2015 in a public post, she says she received little support. With other women also coming forth to claim sexual assault and rape against Kasera, the writer says they are seeking action. She adds, “We’re still trying to figure out how he got away scot-free after filing an F.I.R. for assault on a minor with the Kharghar Police Station. Realizing now that’s he’s committed heinous crimes on other women too, we’re trying to figure out what is the best legal course to take against him that ensures we get justice for what he did to us.”