India

Man jailed for molesting former Bollywood actress

An anti-rape protest in Mumbai on August 1, 2019 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Crimes against women have been in the spotlight in India in recent years

A 41-year-old Indian businessman has been sentenced to three years in prison for molesting a former Bollywood actress on a flight in 2017.

Vikas Sachdev was accused of repeatedly moving his foot up and down her neck and back while she was "half-asleep" in her seat.

He was convicted on Wednesday under child protection laws since the actress was 17 at the time of the incident.

She had documented her experience on Instagram and the post went viral.

The actress cannot be named under Indian laws which prohibit identifying victims of sexual assault.

In her post, she said that she was on a flight from the capital, Delhi, to Mumbai when he "kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck".

She said she blamed the turbulence at first but was later woken by his foot touching her neck. She shared a video of herself after the flight, in which she was visibly upset. "This is terrible," she said. "No one will help us if we don't decide to help ourselves."

She tried to film Sachdev, but it was too dark to see his face. Police arrested him after he was reportedly identified with help from the airline, Air Vistara.

She had also accused the airline of not doing anything to help her when she raised the issue. But she did not file an official complaint against them.

The airline denied the charge and said they had "zero tolerance for such behaviour".

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