Mumbai: Actress Priety Zinta has named two witnesses to back her charges of molestation against ex boyfriend and co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab team in the Indian Premier League Ness Wadia. According to sources, she named the witnesses before leaving for the US. The Mumbai Police is trying to get in touch with the witnesses who have been named.
Meanwhile, in a setback in the investigation in the case, sources say that the alleged argument between the two took place inside the corporate box number 56 which incidentally, does not have a CCTV camera. A CCTV footage accessed by Indian TV shows Preity at the stands moments before she alleged Ness Wadia of publicly abusing and misbehaving with her. However, the footage may not be able to prove anything.
The police which was heavily depending on the CCTV footage will now have to solely rely on the statements of the eyewitnesses. “We are gathering corroborative evidence. We have started recording the statements. As of now we are limiting to Wankhede,” DCP Zone 1 Ravindra Shisve said.
The players and IPL members are likely to be asked to depose in the case. “If the stadium authorities come to us, we will cooperate with the police,” MCA interim chief Ravi Sawant said.
Through a statement on Facebook on Saturday, the actress said that this was not the first time she was abused publicly by Wadia but there is a limit to what a person can take. While she has maintained silence over why there was a delay in filing the FIR, friends close to the actress reveal that she did not make the complaint official immediately as she did not want to lower the morale of the team as the IPL matches were still on.
In her statement, she claimed that the truth was on her side. “This is not easy for me and my intention is not to harm anyone but simply to protect myself and to stand up for myself. I don’t want any sympathy from anyone but I will sincerely appreciate it if people do not try to take away my dignity in the process of my fight for respect at my workplace,” read a portion of her statement.
Ness, however, has refuted the allegations leveled against him. “I am shocked at the complaint and the allegations made against me are totally false and baseless,” he said in a statement issued by him. But a close associate admitted that the duo had an altercation over reserved seats in the Garware pavilion.
Pitching in for Preity’s help, the state Women’s Commission has demanded speedy action in the case. “We have given the police an ultimatum of 24 hours to take action and produce the accused before court,” Maharashtra Women’s Commission Chairperson Chitra Wagh said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police maintained that their focus currently was on the Wankhede stadium but the area of investigation could be expanded if needed. However, they have ruled out any arrest in the case before they gather more evidence.
Preity had on Thursday night, filed a complaint at Marine Drive Police station in Mumbai alleging that she was molested by Wadia inside Wankhede stadium on May 30. Zinta and Wadia had broken off their five-year-long relationship a couple of years back but continued to share business interest.