New Delhi: Bollywood actor Vijay Raaz was recently accused of molestation by a 30-year-old crew member of his upcoming film. He was arrested after the allegations were made and later granted bail by a local court in Gondia, Maharashtra. The actor has now finally reacted to the entire episode.
In an interview with Bombay Times, Vijay Raaz opened up on the molestation charges slapped against him. He said, “Women’s safety is of prime concern. I have a 21-year-old daughter, so I understand the gravity of the situation. I am all for an investigation by the authorities. However, to ostracise me, suspend and terminate my services from my forthcoming films even before any sort of investigation, is shocking. I have no words to express. It’s a very dangerous place to be in. I have been working in the film industry for 23 years!
Bohot mehnat se maine apna career banaya hai. Tinka tinka jodke maine apna ghar banaya hai. Anybody can sabotage anyone’s career? Kisine bol diya aur aapne maan liya that I am a harasser? People are bound to make judgements without hearing the other side of the story. No matter what the outcome of this case, aap pe ek thappa lag jaata hai. I have been pronounced guilty even before the investigation. My right to earn a livelihood is badly affected. Am I not the victim here? My old father who lives in Delhi, also has to face the society and so does my young daughter.”
Vijay Raaz was working along with other unit members of a Vidya Balan starrer ‘Sherni’ is currently being shot in Gondia where the incident allegedly took place. On November 3, he reportedly was informed by the makers that he has been temporarily suspended due to the complaint against him. The matter is being probed by the internal committee set-up by the producers.
“I have been working with the same crew for over a year. We play cricket on set. It’s how we are with each other. Yet, when I was told she felt uncomfortable, I apologised. This was in front of the entire crew. My apology meant I respect your feelings. But it didn’t mean that I acknowledged the claims made later at the police station. Saying sorry doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. It means you respect someone’s feelings more. I also have responsibilities and I need a job. Mere itney saalon ki mehnat can go down the drain if people jump to conclusions without verifying the claims. This should not be one-sided. Truth prevails but the damage is done”, he further said.
As per reports, the film’s crew is stationed at Hotel Gateway for last 15 days. The victim alleged that during the film’s shooting in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat and in Hotel Gateway at Gondia, Raaz allegedly molested her.
The complaint has been filed under IPC section 354 (A&D). Ramnagar police acted upon the complaint and arrested the actor last night. The matter is being investigated.
Vijay Raaz made his debut in 1999 release ‘Bhopal Express’. He went on to star in movies like ‘Jungle’, ‘Monsoon Wedding’, ‘Aks’, ‘Company’, ‘Lal Salaam’, ‘Road’, ‘Run’, ‘Dhamaal’, ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Gully Boy’ and several others including web series. He was last seen in ‘Gulabo Sitabo’.