By Sharanya Gopinathan
Every now and then, you hear a story from Bollywood that makes you begin to wonder if you’re dreaming.
Back in 2004, model Preeti Jain filed a case against filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar for allegedly raping her 16 times between 1999 and 2004. In 2011, a Mumbai metropolitan court “found substance” in the allegations and directed Bhandarkar to face trial. Bhandarkar moved the Supreme Court for relief against the charge, and the Supreme Court quashed the charges against him in 2012, as Jain no longer wanted to pursue the case.
If this isn’t already dark and scary enough, things are about to get a lot weirder. A few months after filing the original case against Bhandarkar, Jain allegedly paid gangster Arun Gawli’s aide Naresh Pardeshi a sum of Rs. 75,000 to kill Madhur Bhandarkar.
When the murder wasn’t carried out, Jain asked Pardeshi for her money back, as you do. When Arun Gawli heard about this, incredibly, he apparently told the police about the entire scene. Which seemed a bit crazy to us, because we assumed it meant he implicated himself. As it turned out, there was no evidence against Arun Gawli, so he got off scot-free, but he’d ratted his aides out to the police in his apparent bid get revenge on Jain for demanding her money back. Pardeshi and Shivram Das have both been sentenced to three years in jail along with Preeti Jain. All three have been granted bail.
Bhandarkar has since posted this tweet:
Somethings are better left unsaid! Somethings are better left as they are. Life moves on, so have I.
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) April 28, 2017
No, no, no. Let us say more things and not move on. Let us talk more about sexual assault and sexism in Bollywood. Let us talk also about cops and gangsters being besties. Let us also talk about the astonishing near-fictional character called Preeti Jain who 13 years into this saga is still saying things like, “I am not disheartened. Once we receive the detailed order, we will study it and move ahead for an appeal,” and “I have complete faith in the judiciary.”