At Least three top BCCI and IPL officials’ reaction to actor and Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta was “Congratulations, your team won”, when she narrated the alleged incidents of verbal abuse and molestation, minutes after she was reportedly publicly humiliated by industrialist and ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia, according to her supplementary statement recorded by the Marine Drive police station.
She had also voiced her intention to lodge a police complaint against him to them, according to her statement dated June 24.
Post match, Zinta reportedly walked to the stadium grounds to congratulate her team after Kings XI Punjab beat Chennai Super Kings in the IPL semi-final playoff, when she was spotted and waylaid by Wadia. “When he saw me, Ness began to scream at me. I told him to stop abusing or else I would immediately call the police and lodge a complaint, and went away,” Zinta’s fresh statement read.
“I walked away from him (Wadia), and met BCCI Chief Executive Officer Sunder Raman. “I told Raman about the incidents that took place and that I was going to file a police complaint against Wadia,” Zinta told the police. In Raman’s statement recorded on June 19, the BCCI CEO confirmed that Zinta approached him after the presentation ceremony at Wankhede Stadium at 12.30 am on May 31. “She told me that Wadia swore at her, grabbed and pulled her hand, and humiliated her at Garware Pavilion, because his family members could not find seats. She also said she wanted to lodge a complaint with the police. I calmed her down, told her that since her team had won the match, an appropriate decision would be taken about the incident later,” Raman’s statement read. He also said Zinta requested him “to be seated away from Wadia for the next match”.
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Zinta further narrated in the statement that after speaking with Raman, she potted IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal and BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel, and she approached them repeating the narration of incidents to the two. “While giving them the information, I was shivering. They (then) congratulated me on the particular match being won by my team,” her statement read.
On June 13, Zinta had first submitted an application to the Marine Drive police station, alleging that Wadia, a co-owner in Kings XI Punjab IPL franchise, had molested and verbally abused her on three different occasions on May 30 at Wankhede stadium. Zinta’s supplementary statement, which was recorded at the same stadium on June 24, details the three incidents. BCCI had allotted 50 seats in the Garware Pavilion to Kings XI Punjab, and 12 out of the additional 35 seats allotted in the air-conditioned VIP hospitality box were picked by Zinta. In the first row, Zinta was seated with a top media executive, her friends, builder Danish Merchant and her make-up man Jai Kanojia. Some of Wadia’s friends were seated next to Kanojia. The parents of Kings XI Punjab batsman David Miller and two young boys were seated behind Zinta’s contingent.
“About 30-45 minutes into the match, I saw Wadia stand up at the aisle of rows three and four, and scream at Fraser Castellino, Kings XI Punjab Chief Operating Officer, and Tara, who was responsible for seating and hospitality. I gestured to Wadia to keep quiet. But he ignored it and screamed at me to ‘Come Here!’. When I went to him, he abused me. I told him that I was not at fault and went back to my seat,” the statement further read.
When the Chennai Super Kings began to bat in the second innings, Zinta said, Wadia came up to her, grabbed her arm and shook it violently. “My friend Jean, who was sitting next to me, got up, scolded Ness and told him to go, which he did. Then I watched the rest of the match,” said her statement. Make-up man Kanojia said, in his statements, that while he saw Wadia scream at the team management, he did not pay much attention as he was engrossed in the match. “During the second innings, I saw Wadia grab Zinta’s arm, but right at that moment, cricketer (Virendra) Sehwag struck a boundary and there was a lot of cheering and stadium’s sound system was blaring songs, so I did not hear the conversation between Wadia and Zinta,” his witness statement read. The third incident allegedly took place after the match, when both Zinta and Wadia went down to the ground to congratulate the players.