Uma Khurana lifted the dupatta from her face for the first time in days on Monday after she was granted bail by a court and said she would file defamation charges against those who projected her as a pimp in a television sting that went horribly wrong.
Sobbing uncontrollably after a Tis Hazari court magistrate set her free from her 10-day judicial custody, Khurana told the Hindustan Times in an exclusive conversation that she was not involved in any prostitution racket as alleged in a sting shown on Live India television channel.
“I am a teacher and it is impossible for a person like me to force a girl into flesh trade,” Khurana told HT after judge Alok Agarwal said investigations revealed that “she is more of a victim than an offender.”
An angry mob badly beat up Khurana, who taught at a government girls’ school in Daryaganj, after the sting was aired. She was later sacked and arrested under the Immoral Trafficking Act. The sting, however, fell apart later and police arrested journalist Prakash Singh and one of his woman accomplices who had posed as a prostitute in the TV show.
On Monday, bruises from the beating could still be seen on Khurana’s face but there was a smile too as she sat down in a corner of the crowded courtroom after a woman constable led her there. “Prakash Singh even threatened my children with dire consequences,” Khurana said. “I did not pursue a police case against Singh for the safety of my kids,” she added.
Now that she is out on bail, Uma would like to get back to teaching. But certainly not to the same school, she said. “I will never enter the premises there,” said the teacher who hopes to get a clean chit from Delhi Government’s education department. Khurana said she was contemplating a legal action against TV channel Live India and the reporter involved in the sting operation.
“They disgraced me. I will first settle down with my children and then consult the lawyers to file a defamation case against them,” Khurana said. “I have to return to the lock-up… Today will be my last day in jail,” she said as she covered her face again with her dupatta and left the court with a lady constable holding her right hand.
But that was not before she thanked the Hindustan Times: “My release was impossible, but for the investigative stories done by HT. Thanks for bringing the smile back on my face.”