Mumbai crime: How Uzbek woman's Bollywood dream turned into a 15-year nightmare
The Uzbek woman accusing city cop of rape, murder and fraud came to Mumbai with dreams of becoming Madhuri Dixit
What used to be the ‘city of dreams’ for a young Uzbek girl and her family has now become the city of nightmares.
The woman, who had come to Mumbai more than 15 years ago as a young girl, filled with dreams of becoming a Bollywood actress, is now a 38-year-old woman with a son, looking for a way to reclaim her lost identity and go back home.
The woman has accused tainted city police officer Anil Jadhav, currently suspended, of having raped and confined her for 15 years, and with whom she has a child. She has also alleged that he had murdered a man in 2011. She recounts her 15Â-year ordeal to mid-day.
“My entire family was a fan of Raj Kapoor. Many of them had even come to Mumbai to meet him. Since childhood, I had dreamed of working in Bollywood and I managed to make some inroads too, but one man destroyed my whole life,” said the Uzbek woman while speaking to mid-day.
Born in Fergana city of Uzbekistan, the Uzbek woman comes from a family of government servants. She and her four sisters grew up watching Bollywood movies and being fascinated by Mumbai. “ Although we were from Central Asia, we had a deep connect with Bollywood. Right from childhood, all I heard about was India and the film industry. Eventually, I too got attracted to Bollywood, Mumbai and India. I started saving upright when I was in school so I could come to the city one day,” she recounts.
After graduating, the Uzbek woman worked in the administrative wing of the army in Uzbekistan as part of a compulsory one- year service. A good dancer, she aimed to become an actress like Madhuri Dixit.
“By that time, my father had retired and I had two younger sisters. I thought by working in Bollywood, I would be able to support both, their marriage and the family,” the Uzbek woman said.
With the help of a friend of her father’s, the Uzbek woman came to Mumbai in December 2003. “He introduced me to actor Sudhir Luthria. There were several other struggling actors living at his home. Luckily, I got to be a background dancer in a few films. I was included in the dance troop for Filmfare Awards. I was thrilled. But my work Visa expired in six months, that is in May 2004,” she recounts.
The first meeting
The Uzbek woman happened to share her Visa worries with a friend, Mushtaq, who was an auto-rickshaw driver.
“Through him, I met Bhanudas alias Anil Jadhav at the Immigration office. He took my passport saying that my Visa has expired and took my mobile number, saying that he will call me back,” she said.
Anil called the Uzbek woman frequently, claiming that he knows many producers who could launch her as a lead actress. “For a girl in her early 20s, it was like a miracle.
I befriended him, but I kept my distance. I continued working in film and for shows as a dancer. In 2005, I lost my phone and contact with Anil too ceased. But in 2006, I decided to return to Uzbekistan.
I got in touch with him for my passport, but he refused. I did not know then, but it was the beginning of the darkest period of my life,” she said.
Jadhav scared the Uzbek woman by saying she would be jailed due to the expired Visa and promised to get her identity changed so she could leave the country. “ He would talk nicely and said he was fond of me. I don’t know how I ended up trusting him. In 2006, he called me to a hotel in Chembur and offered me spiked vodka. When I regained consciousness, I realised I had been raped,” the woman recounts.
Moved to Pune a year ago
Jadhav continued raping her by threatening jail or saying that he loves her. Consequently, the woman got pregnant and asked Jadhav to marry her.
He refused saying he was already married and had a child.
“I was shattered. By this time, I had a new identity. He told me he had friends everywhere in the state. I tried speaking to the police but everyone ended up knowing him,” said the woman. She has also accused him of having murdered a Russian man after his sister died of a drug overdose during a rave allegedly thrown by Jadhav in Raigad.
“I was helpless; I didn’t know what to do. My family was constantly worrying about me, but I couldn’t tell them what I was going through. People ask me what I did for 15 years, but they don’t know what I have had to survive. I underwent two abortions and gave birth to a child five years ago,” she said. “ This became another weapon for him. Jadhav started threatening to hurt my child if I were to complain.” A year ago, Jadhav shifted the woman to Pune. With limited resources, she was biding her time and waiting for an opportunity to escape.
In September this year, when Jadhav, posted with the Pimpri- Chindwad Crime Branch, was arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for accepted a Rs 10 lakh, that opportunity came. “ I fled from Pune and went to Kopar Khairane, where I used to stay before moving to Pune. The police there shooed me away when they heard Jadhav’s name.
Finally, I managed to get an offence registered in Chembur on October 10. But he has not been arrested,” the Uzbek woman said.
The Uzbek woman is now waiting for Jadhav’s arrest, after which she plans to get her original identity restored and return to Uzbekistan. “The city of dreams has become the city of nightmares for me. All I want is to go home.”
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