On November 2, actor Vijay Raaz was arrested and later released on bail after a female crew member of the Bollywood film Sherni filed a case of molestation against him. The actor was shooting in Madhya Pradesh for the Vidya Balan starter. Following the incident, the makers of the film, director Amit Masurkar and producer Vikram Malhotra, reportedly decided to drop him and set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to probe the allegations against him. Opening up about the allegations, Raaz said that as a father of a 21-year-old daughter he understands how significant the issue is. He said he is cooperating with the investigation.
Talking to ET, Raaz said, "I am all for an investigation by the authorities. However, to ostracise me, suspend and terminate my services from my forthcoming films even before any sort of investigation, is shocking." He further added that he has "no words to express."
Expressing his feeling about the film industry, he said, "It’s a very dangerous place to be in. I have been working in the film industry for 23 years! I have been pronounced guilty even before the investigation. My right to earn a livelihood is badly affected. Am I not the victim here? My old father who lives in Delhi also has to face the society and so does my young daughter.”
What is the case against Vijay Raaz?
“The woman came to us with the complaint on Monday night, saying she was molested by Vijay Raaz in a hotel where the film crew is staying. Based on her complaint, we lodged an FIR and arrested Raaz on Tuesday morning. A local court later granted him conditional bail,” Gondia Superintendent of Police told The Indian Express as the case was registered.
“We collected evidence of the incident and then proceeded to arrest Raaz,” police said, adding, “There are eye-witnesses from the crew who have spoken to us about the accusation being true.”
Opening up about the incident, Raaz said, “I have been working with the same crew for over a year. We play cricket on set. It’s how we are with each other. Yet, when I was told she felt uncomfortable, I apologised. This was in front of the entire crew. My apology meant I respect your feelings. But it didn’t mean that I acknowledged the claims made later at the police station. Saying sorry doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. It means you respect someone’s feelings more. I also have responsibilities and I need a job. My hard-work will go down the drain if people jump to conclusions without verifying the claims. This should not be one-sided. Truth prevails but the damage is done.”
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