TV actor held for sexual harassment
The police on Wednesday arrested the leading actor of a TV show for allegedly molesting his co-actor. The accused has been identified as Sai Ballal (pictured), who plays Kamalnarayan Rajvanshi in Udaan, a soap about bonded labour in villages. According to the police, the victim was first allegedly harassed by Ballal in April.

An officer from the Borivali police station said: “Ballal started sending her pornographic and objectionable videos on her mobile phone through WhatsApp and started harassing her on the sets. He made sexual advances towards her and also molested her several times. Fed up, the victim approached her superiors in the production house. She alleged that they did not pay heed to her complaint and when she persisted with her complaints, they removed her from the show.”

After she was rendered jobless, the victim approached the Cine and TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), and made a similar complaint. She also alleged that she was removed because Ballal enjoyed significant clout in the production house. “CINTAA conducted a probe into the matter and concluded that it is a criminal matter,” said Senior Inspector Gunaji Sawant of the Borivali police station.

“The probe recommended that the victim make a complaint to the police, following which she lodged a complaint in the Borivali police station on Wednesday. Acting on her allegations, the police registered an FIR under various sections of the IPC and the Information Technology Act. Ballal was arrested in the evening and will be produced in the court on Thursday.”

Sawant added that Bharat Choksi and Abhishek Aggarwal, who work in the same production house, were booked for abetting the crime.

A case has been registered against Ballal under Section 354-A (sexual harassment) and 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe her) of the IPC and section 67-A of the IT Act. Choksi and Aggarwal have been booked under Section 109 of the IPC for abetment.

“We have recovered some objectionable videos sent on the victims’ mobile phone and further investigation into the matter is on,” said another police officer.