The Shahu Nagar police have arrested a cinematographer who allegedly harassed a TV actress and damaging her car in Dharavi last Saturday. The actress had clicked photos of the accused and his car’s licence plate. The arrests were made with the help of these pictures.
Alefia Kapadia (28), who is best known for her role as Latika in the soap opera Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Mitha Mitha Pyaara Pyaara, claimed that she was driving from Bandra Kurla Complex to Byculla via Dharavi, when a fellow motorist drove up close to her car, passed inappropriate remarks, and when met with resistance, scratched her car, blocked her path, and even tried to open the door to the vehicle, before driving away (‘Drive-by creep harasses actress’, December 23).
Alefia took photos of the accused in a bid to scare him off, but later used them to lodge an FIR at Shahu Nagar police station. “We have arrested Muttu Swami Arasu, a resident of Dharavi. He is a cameraman in the film industry. He has been claiming that he does not know Alefia. He was produced in court, which granted him bail on payment of Rs 9,000,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
An officer from Shahu Nagar police station said, “It was very brave of her to take pictures of the accused. That made our work more easy and we could trace the accused very quickly,” said an officer from Shahu Nagar police station.
The Accused claims
Meanwhile, the motorist, Arasu, wrote to MiD DAY yesterday, alleging that the actress had cooked up the story for the sake of publicity. He wrote, “I was driving my car on the right side of Kapadia’s car. There was excessive traffic, and at one point, the right-hand mirror of my car scratched her car. I immediately stopped my car and rendered my apologies to her.
However, her reaction to this was: ‘How dare you, you b*****d, you scratched my car’. My next few words to her, with a teasing smile, were, ‘Better mind your language, madam’. After this I got some space to drive up a little ahead. By this time, I guess, she had captured a picture of my car. She later drove next to my car very rashly, and halting just next to my car, shouted: “Hey, you b*****d”. I immediately turned my head towards her, and that was the moment she got a picture of me.”
Arasu added, “After clicking my picture, she said ‘Wait you b*****d, I will ruin your life’.” After this, he claims that Kapadia drove ahead and he immediately drove up to her car asking the actress if she was planning to upload the pictures on Facebook. He said that her reaction to this was inappropriate. He then stepped out of his car and told Kapadia that since he had apologised for scratching her car, she should delete the pictures she had taken of his. But she simply drove off. Arasu said that after the FIR was registered against him, he went to Shahu Nagar police station with his advocate and surrendered, and is presently out on bail.
When MiD DAY spoke to the actress about his claims, she said that Arasu’s version of events was illogical, and the fact that she is an actress is being used against her. “I would never use any kind of abuses, especially when my four-year-old child is with me. Whatever he is saying is baseless. I am the victim and he has, in fact, sent me messages apologising about the incident as well,” she said.