Mahmood Farooqui, one of the co-directors of 'Peepli Live', was arrested from his residence in New Delhi on charges of rape last Friday. According to a report by The Times Of India, he has been remanded to 14 days judicial custody. Aside from being a filmmaker, Farooqui is also a well-known practitioner of the medieval Urdu storytelling art-form dastangoi.
The survivor, whose statement was recorded before a court under section 164 CrPC the same day, was a PhD student in Hindi studies from New York's prestigious Columbia University. She was in India for field work and first met Farooqui in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Farooqi later introduced her to his wife, Anusha Rizvi, who is credit with directing 'Peepli Live', a satirical film on farmer suicides that was produced by Aamir Khan.
According to the report, the victim was quoted as saying the following while narrating the incident, which took place at Farooqui and Rizvi's residence on March 28:
"I called Farooqui and asked for tickets for his dastangoi performance and he asked me to come home. Later he called me again and asked me to join them for a wedding. But when I reached his place, I found him inebriated," she said in her complaint.
"...he was crying. When I asked what happened he didn't say anything. He asked me to go to his room-cum-office. I went to the porch to smoke when Farooqui came. He kissed me. I said this is definitely not what you want. He then asked me to sit on the sofa. He kissed me, pinned me down with his arms and sexually assaulted me," the complaint stated.
Reportedly, she did not resist him because she was intimidated by "the force he was using". She left his residence soon after the incident and emailed him two days later, saying that she had felt "violated" by his actions. Farooqui is reported to have responded to the email with a two-page reply, apologising for what had happened and blaming it on inebriation.
Rizvi has rubbished the students claims against her husband, claiming that the "complaint is false, manipulated and belated". "We are determined to fight this till the reality is presented before the people. We are very sure of it," she said, in a written statement.
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