'Peepli Live' director arrested for rape

“Peepli Live” co-director Mahmood Farooqui was arrested on Saturday on charges of raping a 35-year-old US woman in March while she was in Delhi on a research work.

The rape is said to have taken place at Farooqui’s home in south Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar on March 28. 

Quoting the victim, a police officer said Farooqui was under the influence of alcohol when he raped the woman after a party.

Farooqui’s wife Anusha Rizvi, who co-directed “Peepli Live” with him, put out a statement claiming the complaint was “manipulated and false”. 

She also said Farooqui presented himself at the police station concerned as soon as he heard about the case, and was subsequently taken into custody.

The woman is pursuing her PhD from Columbia University in New York. She was in India this March to complete her research work. 

Since her research work was related to a University in Gorakhpur, a common friend introduced her to Farooqui, as the filmmaker hails from that region in Uttar Pradesh, and thus could be of help, said a police officer.

It was during one such interaction with Farooqui that she visited his home on March 28 and was allegedly raped. 

“The victim left India immediately and dropped Farooqui a mail expressing her anger at the rape. Farooqui apologised to her in a reply mail,” said a source. The apology mail is apparently two pages long.

The woman told the police she also contacted Rizvi after that through email. She said Rizvi, too, apologised for her husband’s act and promised her justice. 

Rizvi’s statement, however, declares her husband innocent in the case. When no action was taken, the woman approached the US embassy, which in turn contacted the Delhi Police. 
Accompanied by US embassy officials, the woman arrived at the New Friends Colony police station on Friday and registered a case of rape. Farooqui was subsequently arrested and sent to judicial custody till July 6. 

An alumnus of The Doon School and St Stephens College, Farooqui is also known for his revival of the medieval art of Urdu storytelling known as “Dastangoi”.

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