A woman, who is an employee of Phantom Films, has accused the Queen director Vikas Bahl of molestation. As per a report by Mumbai Mirror, the incident happened a couple of months back when the team headed Goa for vacations. Soon the matter was escalated to Reliance Entertainment, which shares a 50-50 percent partnership with Phantom Films owned by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, who had set up a committee as per Vishakha guidelines.
According to a stakeholder, who spoke to Mumbai Mirror, Vikas has been asked to step down. In fact, the director has not been attending office since March 28 but reports suggest that he is away from work as his mother is ill.
This stakeholder, who is kept anonymous on request, said that this is not the first molestation case against Vikas, “The decision needed to be taken because it was getting too much. There are not one, two or three but multiple victims. I was in the middle of a film shoot when I came to know about the first incident and I had to stop my shoot and come to Mumbai… there is (after all) a young girl on whom an intoxicated Vikas forced himself while they were in Goa. He has behaved badly in the past as well but when this specific complaint came, we needed to act on it.”
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However, Vikas denies of any such allegations. He says that he has known the woman in question since a long time, she is a friend and did not ever act uncomfortable in his company. “There is no complaint to HR and there is no Vishakha Committee. I have heard about this particular lady you are speaking about and the Goa incident. She is not my employee. Yes, I am friends with her, we have worked together and there is a production job we have done together…but if she is feeling like this I would like to sit across a table from her and talk to her. I want to ask her if I have crossed a line, whether I have done anything to hurt her and if she feels that way I would like to apologise for it. I have known her for long. For two-and-a-half years she has never made me feel as if she is uncomfortable (around me). I have worked very hard to be the person I have become. I do feel a little victimised but I don’t know what to do about that,” he told to the daily adding that it was not a case of a relationship gone wrong either.
His co-partners feel that this case might turn the tables for the director in the industry but Vikas expresses that it takes a lot to come to the stage where he is and it’s upsetting that ‘people can stoop to any level’ to get someone down.