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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Zarina Wahab on Kangana Ranaut-Aditya Pancholi controversy: ‘Can’t accuse a person of rape just because relationship has ended’

Aditya Pancholi’s wife Zarina Wahab has said there must be stronger laws to protect the accused in cases of sexual harassment. Rangoli Chandel, Kangana’s sister, had filed an application earlier, claiming the actor was exploited and abused by Aditya.

bollywood Updated: Jun 13, 2019 11:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Zarina Wahab has come to her husband Aditya Pancholi’s defence against Kangana Ranaut.
Zarina Wahab has come to her husband Aditya Pancholi’s defence against Kangana Ranaut.

Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi recently submitted a reminder complaint against actor Kangana Ranaut, expressing apprehensions that he would be booked under a “fake rape case” if he failed to withdraw a defamation case filed against Kangana and others. Now, his wife and actor Zarina Wahab has said that there must be better laws to protect those accused of sexual harassment.

Zarina told Deccan Chronicle in an interview, “You can’t be in relationship with someone for years and then suddenly accuse him of rape just because the relationship has ended, or because the other person has moved on. It’s just not right.”

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Zarina said she fears for her husband’s safety. “I know him better than anyone else,” she said. “He has never hidden anything from me. I know what has happened in the past. He has done no wrong,” she added.

Rangoli Chandel, Kangana’s sister, had filed an application before the Versova police station in May, stating her sister was exploited and abused by Aditya at least a decade ago. He, in turn, filed a counter application in the same police station, claiming Ranaut’s lawyer threatened to file a rape case against him.

Kangana, through several interviews in 2017, accused Aditya of physically and sexually abusing her when she was new to the film industry. She said he kept her confined to the house and she had to escape by jumping off the first-floor window. After the allegations, Aditya filed a defamation case against her.

Kangana’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, had tweeted on May 17 that Aditya filed the case only after his client (Kangana) spoke about him on a public platform. “Pancholi can prove his innocence in court and not by misusing our silence or my misrepresenting facts to the media. The investigation is on by the police, he should have respected that,” said Siddiquee.

In her interview with Deccan Chronicle, Zarina also talked about actor Karan Oberoi who was booked in a rape case filed against him in May this year. He was granted bail on June 7.

“Look at how he has been treated, and locked away. I’ve worked with him in the past. He’s a decent, civilised, courteous man,” she said. “It’s frightening what a rape allegation can do to a person. If not true, it destroys a man’s reputation and self confidence. Karan will never be himself again.”

According to the FIR, the actor allegedly raped a 34 year old woman on the pretext of marrying her. The victim’s advocate, Ali Kaashif Khan, had alleged that his client’s physical consent was taken on a false promise of marriage and hence it amounted to rape, citing a recent Supreme Court judgment. The FIR also stated that Oberoi not only raped the woman and filmed the act but also demanded money from the victim and threatened to release the video if she did not pay the requisite sum.

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