No lead from CCTV cameras at Wankhede in Preity Zinta's case

Last Updated 25 June 2014, 13:32 IST

The five CCTV cameras at Garware Pavilion in Wankhede stadium where actress Preity Zinta was allegedly molested by industrialist Ness Wadia on May 30 have neither captured any argument nor scuffle inside the premises between the estranged couple, police said today.

Zinta filed a police complaint on June 12 alleging that Wadia outraged her modesty at the stadium on May 30 during the IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. Wadia, however had said the allegation was "false and baseless".

"There were 172 rotating CCTV cameras inside the Wankhede ground. And there were five CCTVs installed to focus at Garware pavilion.

However, the examination of these five CCTV footages did not provide any evidence that would help us in the probe," said a police officer privy to the investigation.

"The five CCTV footages which we thought would give some crucial leads have neither captured any argument or any scuffle between the two," the officer added.

The investigators are now banking upon video camera footages from Sony Company, which had telecasting rights of Indian Premier League 2014, the officer said adding that, "Sony is yet to provide the unedited camera footages."

However, the officer clarified if not technical evidence, then the statements of witnesses will form crucial piece of evidence in the case.

Meanwhile, Preity has provided the names of about 14 persons, who according to her, witnessed the argument and the incident of alleged molestation, the officer added.

"We will ask these people to appear before us to record the statements in the case," he said.

Mumbai Police last evening recorded the statement of Preity for more than one and half hours at BCCI office in Wankhede stadium.

Marine Drive Police recorded her statement with regard to the molestation case while crime branch recorded her statement in connection with the threat calls received by Wadia's secretaries, allegedly from gangster Ravi Pujari.

Marine Drive Police registered an FIR against Wadia under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

Police have so far recorded the statements of seven witnesses, including Indian Premier League COO Sundar Raman and BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel, in connection with the case.

Crime Branch, on the other hand, is also probing the threat phone calls and a text message received by two personal secretaries of Wadia Group on June 16 from a man claiming to be the fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari. The caller warned that their "business will be in trouble" if the actress is harassed.

Among the 14 witnesses named by Preity in her statement yesterday, the investigators plan to summon at least five of them describing them as "key witnesses" in the next two to three days to strengthen the case, the officer said.

"Preity stood by her written complaint she gave on June 12 and answered our queries during yesterday's questioning.

She stated Ness had humiliated her and used foul language against her in the past as well," he added.

Asked about a foreign national who is among 14 witnesses mentioned by Preity, the officer stated, "The foreign national's name is Jean. He was in the Garware Pavilion when the incident occurred. If required we would also record his statement in the case."

(Published 25 June 2014, 12:25 IST)

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