Bollywood actor and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab IPL team Preity Zinta, who has accused her former boyfriend and businessman Ness Wadia of molestation and abuse, on Saturday said she had to take the “stern step” as the incident took place in front of “way too many people” and hoped the police will do their job “fairly and quickly”.
Calling it a “fight for respect at my workplace”, the actor said she had truth by her side but was saddened that “no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly.” “This time I was left with no option but to take this stern step as this incident happened in front of way too many people,” Zinta, 39, who had filed a police complaint against Wadia on Thursday night, said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Zinta requested that the incident should not be diluted by “every other fabricated story about my character” and made into a TV soap. “Ironically what happened at Wankhade is being diluted by every other fabricated story about my character except the truth of what happened. I’m sure the witnesses will speak the truth and I trust and believe that the police will do their job fairly and quickly. No woman likes to be involved in a controversy like this which makes her open and vulnerable for all to take a dig at. All these years I have never said anything about him in the media but now I have no choice,” she said.
“This is a very difficult time for me and I would like to request the media to please respect my privacy regarding this matter. My intention is not to harm any one but only to protect myself,” she said.
A first information report (FIR) was lodged after the actor, who jointly owns the cricket team with Wadia, 44, filed a written complaint at Marine Drive Police station against him alleging that he molested, pushed her and used abusive language in the presence of several people inside Wankhede stadium in south Mumbai on May 30, when an IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings was being played.
The FIR was registered against Wadia under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), according to police station officials. The actress and the businessman had broken off their five-year-long relationship a couple of years back.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said “offence has been registered. We are trying to collect evidence like the statements of those involved and CCTV footage”.
Wadia has, meanwhile, said, “I am shocked at the complaint and the allegations made against me are totally false and baseless.”
The State Women’s Commission gave a 24-hour ultimatum to Mumbai police to produce the accused in court. “A woman was publicly misbehaved with… it is a non-bailable offence…. We have given an ultimatum to the Mumbai police to take action against the accused and produce him in court,” said member Chitra Wagh.