India

Alok Nath: Rape case registered against Bollywood actor

Indian actor Alok Nath during Star Guild awards at Yash raj Studio, Andheri on February 16, 2013 in Mumbai, India Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Two other actresses have also accused Alok Nath of sexual harassment

Police in India have registered a case against Bollywood actor Alok Nath after a complaint by producer Vinta Nanda who has accused him of raping her.

This is one of the few police cases to be registered against someone named in India's #MeToo movement, which has gained momentum in recent months.

In October, Ms Nanda accused the popular actor of sexual harassment and rape in a detailed Facebook post.

Mr Nath has denied the charge and also filed a defamation case against her.

He has demanded an apology and symbolic compensation of 1 rupee from her.

The actor has also been accused of sexual harassment by two other actresses.

Ms Nanda worked with Mr Nath on a 1990s hit TV series called Tara, which she wrote. In her Facebook post, she alleged that he had also sexually harassed the lead actress on the show.

Ever since the allegations surfaced, Mr Nath has strongly denied the claims made in her post, which contains harrowing details about the alleged abuse.

Ms Nanda said she had waited for 19 years to speak out and asked others "who have suffered at the hands of predators to come out and say it aloud".

While she did not name anyone initially, many on social media deduced that it was Mr Nath after her post went viral. She later confirmed that she had indeed been referring to him.

After the allegations, Mr Nath told journalists that he did not "agree" with the claims. "It [rape] must have happened, but someone else would have done it," he said.

In recent months, the #MeToo movement in the country has led to a number of women making allegations against various comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers.

It began in September when actress Tanushree Dutta repeated her 10-year-old allegation against veteran actor Nana Patekar, accusing him of harassing her on a film set in 2000. Patekar has denied the allegation, calling it "a lie".

But since then several other Bollywood actors and directors have faced accusations of improper behaviour.

The highest-profile figure to be named in India's #MeToo movement is MJ Akbar, who resigned last month as the country's junior foreign minister after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Mr Akbar has strongly denied the allegations and has filed a criminal defamation case against a female journalist.

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