The Mumbai police on Wednesday registered a rape case against actor Alok Nath based on the complaints of TV writer and producer Vinta Nanda.
“The case was filed under section 376 of IPC (rape),” Additional Commissioner of Police Manoj Sharma said.
Vinta Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s' show "Tara" fame, had accused actor Alok Nath -- known for his "sanskaari" on-screen image -- of sexually violating her almost two decades ago.
"The police was very co-operative and they took my statement. It was not easy for me to give my statement as it is like reliving your pain. We have given a written complaint against Alok Nath and they registered the same," Nanda said.
Amid the #MeToo movement that got sparked in India after Tanushree Dutta renewed a decade-old allegation against Nana Patekar, Nanda of "Tara" fame came out about her unsavoury experience with Alok, who has for years enjoyed a holier than thou image on-screen.
In a long Facebook post, Nanda wrote a harrowing account of her personal trauma -- how the actor raped and brutalised her in her own home.
"I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years," Nanda wrote in a long, heart-wrenching Facebook post, referring to the "predator in question" as "the actor par excellence who is known as the most 'sanskaari' (cultured) person in the film and television industry".
"He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour, many of the guys would also egg him on to be his worst," Nanda wrote, adding that he even harassed the show's lead actress who was not interested in him.
Sharing the "worst" that happened, Nanda recounted the incidents that followed after she left a party at Alok's house at 2 a.m. She says her drinks were mixed.
"I started to walk home on the empty streets... Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car.
"I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn't just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised.
"I couldn't get up for my bed. I told some of my friends but everybody advised me to forget about it and move on."
Later, she got a job to write and direct a series for Plus Channel, and again her paths crossed with Alok.
"The man found his way through the casting route and became one of the lead actors on the show. He created an environment in which I was made to feel threatened, so I asked the producers to release me from directing the series because I didn't want to be around where he was.
"I continued to write the show."
The "most difficult part" and the "main reason" why Nanda took so long to come out with the truth was because while she was working on this new series, she says, "he asked me to come to his house again and I went to allow him to violate me".
"I needed the job and didn't want to leave it as I needed the money. It was after this that I quit."
Nanda has urged people "who have suffered at the hands of predators, to come out and say it aloud".
"Don't hold yourselves back. This is a moment for change, so your silence will only hold barriers to its evolution. Speak out. Shout out from the top of the roof."
Several others also came out about their experiences with Alok, leading film and television associations like CINTAA (Cine and Television Artistes Association) and IFTDA (Indian Film and Television Directors' Association) to send him notices.
Alok had rejected IFTDA's notice on the ground that no police complaint had been filed against him. Instead, he filed a civil defamation suit against Nanda, demanding a written apology and compensation of one rupee.
(With inputs from agencies)
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