Indian police open rape probe against Bollywood star Alok Nath

Posted at 10:48 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 23:02:05-05

Police have opened a criminal investigation into an allegation that Bollywood star Alok Nath raped a former co-worker in the 1990s, in the one of the first formal criminal cases arising from India’s #MeToo movement.

Dhruti Kapadia, the lawyer representing writer and producer Vinta Nanda, said the first information report (FIR) filed by police is based on a complaint that her client registered with law enforcement in Mumbai almost a month ago.

A huge name in the Indian film industry, Nath was first accused on October 8 of raping Nanda. In a chilling Facebook post, she said she remembers “being violated endlessly” by him after they finished working together on a daytime soap opera.

“I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years. I shout out to each one of you who have suffered at the hands of predators to come out and say it aloud,” Nanda wrote in her post.

“The police have registered a case of rape and unnatural offenses against Nath. It is a good step. The police is finally investigating and taking cognizance of the case,” said Kapadia.

Repeated attempts to obtain details of the complaint from the Mumbai police have been unsuccessful, but Kapadia confirmed the offenses currently under investigation. Manoj Kumar Sharma, additional commissioner of the Mumbai police, confirmed their accuracy in a text message to CNN.

Nath has denied the allegations. He filed a defamation suit last month and requested a gag order on Nanda.

The judge dismissed the request for a gag order, but the defamation suit is in court.

Nath’s legal representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The current police case follows a stream of allegations made by women across India’s film, media and corporate worlds over the past three months.

In the most high-profile resignation, senior cabinet minister MJ Akbar resigned last month after more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment during his career as a journalist and author. He has denied the allegations.

Akbar has also filed a defamation suit against one of his accusers in a Delhi court.