Zaira Wasim, the young prodigy who played Geeta Phogat, had earlier released a video on social media claiming to be molested in a flight! She was teary-eyed and captured the attention of who’s who in the media and celebrity world. Even the common man wondered that celebrities are not exclusive to such heinous acts and can fall prey to it. The accused, a middle-aged businessman named Vikas Sachdeva, has been taken into custody for now. But, how much truth lies (no pun here) in the entire episode? Considering there is actress’s version, the accused businessman’s version and of course the media’s carefully edited version!
What really happened?
As per Wasim’s version, the accused had his foot reaching between the seats from behind her “nudging my shoulder” and “move his foot up and down my neck and back.” She took to social media after the flight landed.
What is Vistara airlines take on it?
The airlines submitted its final probe report to aviation regulator DGCA. The report was prepared after talking to all the people concerned in the incident, including Wasim, crew and ground handling staff. It says that no action has been taken against their staff. Their spokesperson said,
“We are deeply concerned and regret the unfortunate experience Zaira Wasim had onboard our flight last night. We continue to give this case our highest attention and are extending our full support to all relevant authorities for the investigations underway.”
How did people react?
Some celebrities such as Virat Kohli and Kangana Ranaut came in support. But, as the case gained momentum others raised doubts about the authenticity of it and rendered it a quick publicity stunt.
(1) When the roles change!
— prasoon srivastava (@prasoonrocker) December 10, 2017
(2) A valid argument
It's wrong to shame the man accused of molestation by #ZairaWasim without hearing his side of the story
She & her mother think crying @instagram instead of taking action makes sense.I think that's a publicity stunt
If Molestation did occur, why hasn't she filed an FIR yet?
— Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29) December 10, 2017
(3) Being technical about it!
.#ZairaWasim This is Airline seating position. Pls explain how can someone put his feets on your neck and back? unless U were not sitting on the seat but the middle armrest
— #GauravPradhan 🇮🇳 (@DrGPradhan) December 10, 2017
Women’s rights activist Madhu Purnima puts her point forward that Wasim should have complained to the flight crew about her ordeal. But, she did it after it was over and tagged it as ‘Tamasha’ !
This case is very fishy. How can a man sitting behind a woman in a plane caress a woman's back with his leg?Even professional acrobats can't accomplish such feat-that 2 without anyone noticing.Why didn't she call airhostess or get up & ask him to behave?Tamasha only after landing https://t.co/I80xFyBK7H
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) December 13, 2017
A co-passenger, came in support of Vikas, by stating that he was innocent. He mentioned that he did not know Vikas personally but he did not find any misbehaving with Zaira Wasim.
What are the latest developments in the case?
The accused was produced before the Dindoshi court in suburban Malad. After hearing the arguments, the court sent the accused to judicial custody till 22 December. The accused’s bail plea contended that the actor, during the flight, never complained about the alleged incident to the crew or filed any complaint upon landing at the airport, calling her allegations an afterthought.
Why is the case so controversial?
The Twitter trend #justiceforvikassachdeva explains everything. A woman of an ‘upper status’ playing the victim card and falsely accusing a ‘common man’ is not unprecedented. This is a grim reminder of the ‘Jasleen Kaur’ case in Delhi who wrongly accused a Sikh man named Sarvjeet Singh of passing obscene remarks. She was praised from the Delhi govt, awarded cash prize and the media rendered the Sikh guy as ‘pervert’. Police enquired the case and the Sarvjeet was proved to be innocent! Sarvjeet struggled a lot in his life post the event as he was frowned upon for no fault of his.
Twitterati also believes that Zaira Waseem has falsely accused Vikas for mere publicity and have come forward in support for Vikas and blame Zaira Wasim for false accusations.
— BollyFan (@BollyFan13) December 19, 2017
POCSO has been slapped on the man who Zaira Wasim has accused of molestation without any evidences while the real victims have to spend a lifetime proving sexual harassment despite having all the evidences.#VikasSachdeva #JusticeForVikasSachdeva
— Naveen Patel (@nav_nirvana) December 13, 2017
— Harie (@hariegomoji) December 19, 2017
#VikasSachdeva is one of the example how badly our system is biased. Genuine cases mein FIR likhwane mein chappal ghis jati hein, idhr instagram post se sari karyawahi ho gayi. Innocent-until-proven-guilty is just 4 biggies. Shame on whole system.. on us..for tolerating it..
— अभिनव (@abhinawp) December 15, 2017
What a shame ?? Framing an innocent man on charges not proven. Why this biased approach for a celebrity ? Or some other pressure @MumbaiPolice
Stop troubling innocent ppl …@CPMumbaiPolice #JusticeForVikas #justiceforvikassachdeva https://t.co/P5240VnSvc
— Barkha Trehan (@trehan_barkha) December 17, 2017
This is why I told my friends on social media – this is best we can do for them in current scenario.
1 post or 1 tweet in support #JusticeForVikas does not take anything.
Every Drop Makes an Ocean.
We are obliged to do our duty towards every Indian. #justiceforvikassachdeva pic.twitter.com/OALBmgY2Aw
— RahulBadghare (@RaBadghare) December 19, 2017
We live in a country where women who have been molested for real have to time and again go to police and courts to get justic while the culprit roams free. However, in case of VIP culture, the situation is exactly the opposite. The elite women words will simply be taken as evidence and the accused who should be “Innocent-Until-Proven-Guilty” is actually put behind bars without any proof and is made to go through harrowing experiences for the days to come even when he is proven innocent. The VIP culture in India puts a big question mark to the faith that citizens should have over the judicial system.