Mumbai: The 39-year-old executive from Mumbai who was arrested on Sunday for allegedly molesting a teenage Bollywood actor on board a Delhi-Mumbai flight has reportedly told the police that the incident was unintentional.
- Wife of the arrested man said he was tired, upset over relative's death
- Vikas Sachdev was charged under child sexual offences laws
- Teen actor alleged she was molested on Vistara flight on Saturday
The 17-year-old actor, in an Instagram post late Saturday night, had alleged that a passenger sitting behind her on an Air Vistara flight was rubbing his foot against her back and neck while she was half asleep. The actor posted a video in which she tearfully shared what happened on the flight.
The wife and a friend of Vikas Sachdeva - the arrested man - said he was tired and upset because of his uncle's death.
"He was returning from Delhi after attending funeral of his relative. He was very tired and mentally disturbed, so he was sleeping. As it is clear that his legs were touching her but I can say that it was not deliberate," his wife Divya Sachdeva said. She said her husband apologised to the actor. "I want justice and want to see my husband back to home with the family," Ms Sachdeva said.
A friend too came to the executive's defence. "Vikas was upset and tired because of the death. He'd told the airhostess not to disturb him or even serve him the meal; he'd just asked for a blanket to sleep. When the flight was about to land, the actor shouted at him and said 'this is not your lounge; put your leg down'. He apologised to her and said it had happened inadvertently. He is innocent and doesn't have any past record either; the police can check," Kuldeep Bhargava told Mid-Day.
"I want to ask that the moment she felt that she was molested, why didn't she take a stand right then?" the wife asked.
Vikas Sachdeva, who has been charged under child sexual offences laws among others, was produced in court today and has been sent to police custody till tomorrow. Police said they want to investigate the background of the accused and check if he is a repeat offender. Police also said it's likely that the executive may threaten the actor and tamper with the evidence in the case.
Air Vistara has said it is carrying out a detailed investigation into the case and a preliminary report has been submitted to aviation regulator DGCA. The airline has apologised.