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'Dangal' actor Zaira Wasim alleges molestation on Air Vistara

Shemin Joy, DH News Service, New Delhi, Dec 10 2017, 16:54 IST
Zaira (17) broke down several times as she narrated her ordeal in a video posted on Instagram about her flight to Mumbai on a Vistara flight on Saturday night. DH File photo

Zaira (17) broke down several times as she narrated her ordeal in a video posted on Instagram about her flight to Mumbai on a Vistara flight on Saturday night. DH File photo

Actor Zaira Wasim, who mesmerised viewers with her gritty performances in Dangal and Secret SuperStar, had a harrowing time on a Delhi-Mumbai flight when a middle-aged co-passenger "molested" her.

Zaira (17) broke down several times as she narrated her ordeal in a video posted on Instagram about her flight to Mumbai on a Vistara flight on Saturday night.

The incident, which came to light through her video post, triggered an avalanche of criticism. The National Commission for Women and the Maharashtra Women's Commission have sought a thorough enquiry while the Mumbai Police registered a case and recorded Zaira's statement.

While the airlines apologised and offered full support "in every way required" to the actor, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sought a report from Vistara. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha condemned the incident and advised her to cooperate with the airline to put the passenger on the no-fly list if found guilty.

According to Zaira, the flier sitting behind her made her two-hour journey "miserable".

"I tried to record it on phone to understand it better because the cabin lights were dimmed, I failed to get it. The lights were dimmed, so it was even worse. It continued for another five to ten minutes and then I was sure of it. He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck," she said.

"This is not done, I am disturbed...Is this how you're going to take care of girls? This is not the way anybody should be made to feel. This is terrible. No one will help us if we don't decide to help ourselves. And this is the worst thing," the actor said.

Amid claims that the crew did not help her, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said there should be an enquiry against the airline. Vistara's Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said it appears the crew only became aware of something amiss during final descent when they were seated for landing.

"We are talking to our crew who were serving Wasim to understand the incident at greater length, and reaching out to fellow passengers as well. We will support Wasim in every way required...Further details will come from the investigation which is currently going on in full force," he said, adding "we apologise for what she experienced and we have zero tolerance for such behaviour."

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