‘Naagin 3’ actor Pearl V Puri was arrested by Palghar police in Maharashtra in connection with an alleged molestation and rape case of a child, officials said on Saturday.
The 31-year-old actor was booked by Mira-Bhayander Vasai-Virar police, invoking charges of IPC Sec. 376 AB and POCSO Act, 4, 8, 12,19, 21 for the rape of the minor girl, said the officials.
He was produced before a local court later on Saturday for remand and was granted bail according to reports.
According to the Valiv Police Station, which lodged the case, the victim’s family had complained that Puri had allegedly molested and raped the girl, around two years ago.
Puri began his career as a television actor with the 2013 show ‘Dil Ki Nazar Se Khoobsurat’ while Ekta Kapoor’s ‘Naagin 3’ and ‘Bepanah Pyaar’ made him popular. He was last seen in the television series ‘Brahmarakshas 2’.
An official statement on behalf of the actor is awaited.
Celebrities defend Puri
Meanwhile, Indian TV star Anita Hassandani has come out in support of Puri on social media. “Woke up to some nonsensical news bout @pearlvpuri I know him! It is NOT true ... canNOT be true.... all lies. I’m sure there is more to it. And the truth will be out soon. Love you @pearlvpuri #ISTANDWITHPEARL,” the actress posted on Instagram, along with a picture of him.
TV actress Krystle D’Souza also came out to defend the actor writing: “I know @pearlvpuri and he is one of the nicest boys I’ve met in our tv industry. A thorough gentleman. Please don’t jump to conclusions on baseless allegations. Let’s wait for the truth to come out.”
Responding to D’Souza’s comment, Ruchikaa Kapoor posted: “True! #IStandWithPearl ! Truth shall prevail…”
Film and TV star Karishma K Tanna posted: “Satyamev Jayate. Truth wins and he did win. #gotbail @pearlvpuri.”
Film and TV producer Ekta Kapoor also came out to defend Puri in a strong statement she posted on social media. “Will I support a child molester…or a molester of any kind? But what I witnessed from last night to now, was the absolute low in human depravity. How can humanity go to this level? How can people who are upset with each other, drag a third person into their own fight? How can a human being take on another human being and do this?,” Kapoor asked.
She continued: “After various calls with the child’s/girl’s mother, who openly said that Pearl was not involved and it’s her husband trying to create stories to keep her child and prove that a working mother on a set cannot take care of her kid.
If this is true then it is wrong on so many levels!”
Kapoor continued: “Using an extremely important movement like ‘Me Too’ frivolously, to get your own agendas met with and mentally torturing a child and making an innocent person guilty. I have no right to decide, the courts will decide who is right & wrong.
My opinion only comes from what the girl’s mother said to me last night & that is - Pearl is innocent …and it is very very sad if people are using various tactics to prove working mothers are unable to take care of their children, because there are predators on the set.
“I have all the voice notes and messages between the child’s mother and me which clearly points to the false allegations being put on Pearl.”