India

Zaira Wasim: Indian man held after star 'molested' on flight

Screen grabs from Ms Wasim's Instagram account showing her addressing the camera. Image copyright @zairawasim_/Instagram
Image caption Ms Wasim shared her experience on her Instagram account, which has almost 400,000 followers

Police have arrested an Indian man accused of molesting a Bollywood actress on a flight from Delhi to Mumbai on Sunday.

Zaira Wasim, 17, said a "middle-aged man" sitting behind her had repeatedly moved his foot up and down her neck and back while she was "half-asleep".

She documented the incident on Instagram and tried to film the man but said it was too dark to see his face.

Ms Wasim starred in Dangal, Bollywood's highest grossing film to date.

Indian media reports said that the man had been identified with help from the airline, Air Vistara.

Ms Wasim had accused the airline of not doing anything to help her when she raised the issue, but did not file an official complaint against them.

She posted about the incident on her Instagram account early on Sunday. "I was sure of it," she wrote. He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck."

She said she blamed the turbulence at first but was later woken by the man's foot touching her neck.

Ms Wasim shared a video of herself after the flight, in which she was visibly upset. "This is terrible," she said. "No one will help up if we don't decide to help ourselves."

Ms Wasim made her acting debut in Dangal last year.

Image copyright @zairawasim_/Instagram
Image caption Zaira Wasim made her acting debut in Dangal, the top grossing Bollywood movie of all time

She was awarded the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement earlier this year by India's President Ram Nath Kovind.

Air Vistara said on Twitter that staff had not become aware of the incident until the plane was on its descent to Mumbai but it apologised for what Ms Wasim had experienced.

"We have zero tolerance for such behaviour," its statement read.

In recent months, a growing number of women have spoken out about their experiences of sexual harassment.

It followed a campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour under the #metoo hashtag.

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