A Mumbai-based man, Vikas Sachdev, who was accused of molesting former actor Zaira Wasim back in 2017 has been found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Special Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Court (POCSO). Wasim was 17 at the time and, hence, considered a minor in this case.
In December 2017, Wasim claimed she was molested on a Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai on a video she released on her Instagram page. She accused Sachdev of constantly rubbing against her as she tried to sleep and said that the airline staff were of no help either. In fact, the actor was shamed for bringing up the incident. Sachdev’s family, on the other hand, claimed Sachdev was sleeping himself and that the whole incident was simply an accident that had been misinterpreted.
Wasim quit acting in 2019, at the age of 18, when she declared that her profession (acting) “threatened” her relationship with her religion. In a lengthy Facebook post, the actor confessed to her struggles in the industry and the impact it has had on her personal life, specifically her religion. “As I had just started to explore and make sense of the things to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grab hold of a new lifestyle, it was only for me to realise that though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here,” she wrote, adding, “This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, and applause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, as I silently and unconsciously transitioned out of imaan [faith]. While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened.”
At the time she was quitting Bollywood, the Dangal and Sky Is Pink actor also said that her career often put her in “vulnerable” positions. Her decision to quit Bollywood didn’t go down well with a lot of people, with some on the internet calling it “regressive” and “backward”. However, there were those who came to her defence, including the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah. Wasim’s last film to hit theatres was Sky Is Pink — starring Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra in parallel lead roles.
Fellow actor and industry veteran who slammed Wasim for her decision initially, deleted her earlier Tweet and showed concern for her decision. In a tweet, Raveena said she felt sad for the actor if she was doing what she was doing (quitting Bollywood) under pressure.
It's your life. Do whatever you want. Wish you only the best for your future. I believe our art and our profession is our life. We fight to keep religion out of it. It doesn't belong here. If your religion made you do this, maybe you didn't belong here after all. "Godspeed". https://t.co/niXdrxL6qk
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) July 1, 2019
Actor Siddharth had also supported Wasim’s decision to quit Bollywood stating it was “her choice”.