A day after an FIR was registered against businessman Ness Wadia following a written complaint from actor Preity Zinta that he molested, abused and threatened her inside Wankhede stadium in south Mumbai on May 30, Mumbai police sources said Saturday they would record IPL CEO Sundar Raman’s statement in the case.
The Marine Drive police, meanwhile, began recording statements of other witnesses. The police have also sought CCTV footage from the Garware pavilion in Wankhede stadium to ascertain what transpired between the two co-owners of the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab that evening.
“We have started our probe. We are recording statements of Wankhede staff and will record Raman’s statement,” said an officer from Marine Drive police station.
The FIR against Wadia was registered around 12.10 am on Friday at the station. The complaint was registered under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
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In her complaint dated June 12, Zinta stated she had known Wadia for the last 10 years and had a relationship with him. It reads, “But for some time, we have ended our relationship. Although we are co-owners of Kings XI Punjab, we are no longer in a relationship and only talk for professional reasons.”
“For some time now, we are not even talking to each other. In between, once or twice, we had heated argument regarding work and during that time he tried to abuse me, and used extremely derogatory language and tried to misbehave in a manner where I was put to shame in front of my colleagues, friends and family. I’ve orally warned him during that time and told him I was not comfortable with such behaviour,” the complaint states.
Zinta alleged Wadia threatened her. “During the match on 30th May, 2014 at Wankhede stadium in the evening, Ness Wadia intimidated me by saying he could make me disappear as I was a nobody and only an actress and he’s a powerful person,” her complaint alleges.
Explaining why she did not take up the matter earlier, Zinta said she “tried to be very normal and nice to him” as she wanted peace, but the Wankhede incident left her fearing for her life. She claimed she lodged a complaint with BCCI officials, but stayed calm as she did not want to disturb the morale of her team that had qualified for the IPL finals.
Wadia’s publicist Naveen Soni rubbished the allegations. “It is totally false and baseless,” he said.
Sources close to Wadia claimed he was celebrating his birthday on May 30 and had reserved a few seats for himself and his family. On reaching the stadium late, he found the seats were occupied by Zinta and others, which led to arguments between the two, sources said.
In a statement on her Facebook page on Saturday, Zinta wrote, “It saddens me that no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly. This time, I was left with no option but to take this stern step.”
NCW to probe case
New Delhi: The National Commission for Women has decided to take suo motu cognisance of Preity Zinta’s allegations against Ness Wadia, and will conduct an investigation into the case.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the state women’s commission met Marine Drive police officers Saturday, demanding that Wadia be arrested within 24 hours.