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Rape case filed against actor Alok Nath on writer-director Vinta Nanda's complaint

Rape case filed against actor Alok Nath on writer-director Vinta Nanda's complaint

(Eds: Adds quotes of Nanda, her lawyer ) Mumbai, Nov 21 (PTI) Mumbai Police has registered a rape case against actor Alok Nath following writer-director Vinta Nanda's complaint that he allegedly sexually assaulted her 19 years ago during the shooting of a TV show, officials said Wednesday. A first information report (FIR) was registered at the Oshiwara police station in suburban Andheri on Tuesday night, they said. Nath has been booked under Indian Penal Code's Section 376 (rape), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, Paramjit Singh Dahiya, said. Nanda submitted a complaint against the actor at the police station on October 17, nine days after she went public with her allegation that the character actor had raped her during the making of her TV show "Tara". "The moment I penned the truth on Facebook on 8th October 2018, it felt like I had released myself from the prison of fear. Today, I am glad the FIR has been finally lodged. I trust the Mumbai Police," she said in a statement. "I know that when things have finally come this far, justice will prevail. I have full faith and confidence in the country's judiciary," she added. On Tuesday, she appeared before police officials to record her final statement, said her lawyer Dhruti Kapadia. Welcoming the FIR against Nath, Kapadia said police will now investigate and place the matter before the judiciary for a final decision. "Nanda appeared before the police yesterday which recorded her final statement. The police's decision to lodge FIR comes as a ray of hope for Nanda, who now feels she may get justice after all these years," she said. According to her, the matter would not have stretched so long had he apologised. Nath has refuted the allegations and filed a civil suit against the writer-producer in a court here. He has sought Re 1 as damages for allegedly defaming him. Though Nanda, best known for her 90s TV show "Tara", did not name Nath in her social media post, she referred to him as the actor who is known as the "most sanskari person" in the field of acting. She gave an account of the alleged sexual assault in the Facebook post on October 8, soon after actor Tanushree Dutta's complaint of harassment against Nana Patekar sparked what is known as India's #MeToo movement. Patekar denied the allegations. Asked why she went public with her experience when women generally don't reveal their names in cases of sexual abuse and harassment, Nanda said at a press conference last month that she was not afraid. "... I am at a place in my life where I am not afraid. I have spoken openly and I am not shamed. The man who has done it to me is the one who should feel ashamed... I am speaking because he should be shamed because he lived for so many years believing that he got away with it. So why should I hide my face?" she said. Nath is known for playing characters endorsing 'moral values' in films such as "Maine Pyaar Kiya", "Hum Aapke Hain Koun!", "Hum Saath Saath Hain" and "Vivah". The Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) earlier this month expelled Nath in view of the rape allegations against him. The #MeToo movement, which began in Hollywood a year ago, has seen thousands sharing their stories of sexual harassment. In recent months, the #MeToo movement has been gaining momentum in India with women calling out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers. The movement has resulted in the fall of Bollywood stalwarts such as Patekar, Sajid Khan, Subhash Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Anu Malik and Rajat Kapoor. PTI AVI SP GK KKP MINMIN