Popular television actor Pearl V Puri set off a major shockwave in the Hindi television industry when he was arrested on Friday on charges of raping a minor. The complaint claims that the Naagin actor allegedly raped and sexually assaulted a minor girl on the sets of a show in 2019. Moments after his arrest, there was a barrage of support from members of the television fraternity with big names like Ekta Kapoor, Hina Khan, Aly Goni, Karishma Tanna and Surbhi Jyoti coming out with posts stating that they believed in Puri’s innocence.
Kapoor, the czarina of the Hindi television industry, also wrote a long Instagram post claiming that the accusations against the actor were false and that he was the victim of a bitter custody battle between two parents. However, the Vasai DCP Sanjay Kumar Patiln rubbished these rumours and said that the accusations were not false. “No, the accusations are not false. His name has come up in the investigation. There is evidence against him. That is why police has arrested him. The truth will be decided in the trial,” he has said.
As of now, the actor is in 14-day judicial custody and has been registered against Puri under Section 376 of IPC and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act 4, 8, 12, 19 and 21. In a shocking post, actor and producer Divya Khosla Kumar had revealed the names of the victim’s parents and claimed that Puri was being set up. This led to the mother of the child being targetted on social media and she finally had to put out a statement of her own. “A lot of people are calling and asking me to come to the media and speak. My silence should not be construed as my weakness. My respect and faith in the judiciary has made me take this step. Many people have choose to ridicule me and my daughter in public which is not permissible by law. Publicising a victims name in public is a offence. I choose to remain silent as I am not the complainant in the case. Whatever is true shall come out. The matter is subjudiced and hence I am not speaking to anyone as the custody case is pending in the Highcourt and it’s my earnest request to all that please don’t make a mockery of the legal system as I have given my statement to the concern authorities. Let the truth prevail (sic),” she wrote.
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Khosla Kumar, who has worked with Puri in the past, took to the comments section of the post to leave a rambling note on the “sensitivity of the case”. “Pearl lost his father recently , his mother is a cancer patient… she has no one to help her .. she has been calling me repeatedly crying …. He has been put behind bars in a rape case under such strong sections that their is no bail … High court is closed due to Covid & holidays …. in the meantime if something happens to Pearls mother who should we hold responsible ???? Coz the law will take its own time …. U have enough time on hand but a senior citizen suffering from cancer …. Do you realise the sensitivity of the whole case? (sic),” she wrote. Kumar’s post on social media has been heavily criticised by netizens on Twitter who have said that not only does it endanger the life of the victim, it is also an illegal act as one cannot disclose the identity of a rape victim. Despite the backlash, her post is still up.
[Image Credit: Pearl V Puri]