Actor and model Poonam Pandey was detained by the Goa police for “obscenity” for shooting a video at Chapoli dam in Goa.

Milind Soman in a tank top Poonam Pandey in red dress
news Controversy Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 17:48

The Goa Police detained actor Poonam Pandey on Thursday for allegedly trespassing into a government property and shooting an “obscene” video in the coastal state. Two policeman were also suspended after several citizens of Canacona town in South Goa district alleged misuse of government machinery for the shooting.

This comes just a day after actor and model Milind Soman shared a photo of running nude on a Goa beach on his 55th birthday. His photo received much appreciation, with fans marveling over his fitness. Ironically – but unsurprisingly - Poonam Pandey’s shoot caused outrage among the people. 

On Thursday, several residents of Canacona called for a shutdown in the town while demanding action against police officials who allegedly provided protection to Poonam and the crew members for the shoot that was happening on Chapoli dam in Canacona. The Canacona police on Wednesday registered a case against Poonam for obscene gestures, trespassing on the government property, and for shooting and distributing an indecent video, following a complaint by the state water resources department, which manages the dam.

Several people took to social media to point out the hypocrisy of celebrating a man for running nude, but are outraging over a woman's choice of clothing. While nudity in public is an offence under the law, the different reactions to Milind and Poonam are steeped in sexism.

Poonam, who was staying at a five-star hotel at Sinquerim in North Goa, was detained by a Calangute police team in the afternoon and later handed over to the Canacona police, an official said. The actor was "detained for questioning", Superintendent of Police (South) Pankaj Kumar Singh told PTI.

The SP later said police inspector Tukaram Chavan and a constable were placed under suspension, pending inquiry by the state Home department. Asked why the two policemen were suspended, he said details would be revealed only after the inquiry.

The state water resources department on Tuesday filed a police complaint accusing "unknown persons" of trespassing in its property, shooting and circulating an obscene video. Former Goa minister and BJP leader Ramesh Tawadkar said the police provided protection for the shooting.

He said locals withdrew their call for shutdown in Canacona after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant assured that the policemen concerned would be suspended. The police later ordered suspension of an inspector and a constable, he said.

Meanwhile, the Goa Forward Party had also filed a police complaint about the same, where it called Poonam’s video “a sort of assault on Goan women” and one that tarnished the image of Goa. "We are shocked how this video was shot at the Government property and with whose permission. This needs to be investigated and culprits need to be booked," the complaint said.

(With PTI inputs)

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