You might remember Shweta Basu Prasad, the 11-year-old lead actor in Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2002 film Makdee — a performance that won her the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. In an unfortunate turn of events, the actor, now 23, was arrested, after the police caught her in a prostitution racket at a Hyderabad hotel over the weekend.
“Shweta Prasad was arrested on Sunday, and has been sent to a Government Rehabilitation Home. She will be in remand for some time now. The chargesheet will be filed within the next 10 days,” confirms a senior inspector of Banjara Hills police station in Hyderabad, requesting anonymity. He adds that the police acted on a tip-off and a Mumbai businessman, along with some others were also arrested in the raid.
Sweta Basu Prasad in a still from a film. Since her last Bollywood outing eight years ago, Shweta has worked in a Telugu and a Bengali film.
In a statement to the daily Deccan Chronicle, Shweta, who also worked in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal (2005), Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005) Ram Gopal Varma’s Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) and popular tele soaps, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Karishma Kaa Karishma, has said that she took the step because of financial reasons. “I have made wrong choices in my career and I was out of money. I had to support my family and some other good causes. All doors were closed and some people encouraged me to get into prostitution to earn money. I was helpless and with no option left to choose (from), I got involved in this. I’m not the only one who faced this problem and there are several other heroines who have gone through this phase,” she said.
Since her last Bollywood outing eight years ago, Shweta has worked in a Telugu and a Bengali film. According to reports, the actor was earlier, too, caught in a compromising position during a sting operation by a Telugu channel.
Actor Kiran Karmakar, who played her father in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki says he is shocked. “She was like my daughter. I wish she comes out of this problem soon.”