Farooqui’s wife asked me to persuade US national, says friend

New Delhi: ‘Peepli Live’ co-director Mahmood Farooqui’s wife had contacted the American researcher’s friend asking him to persuade the woman not to press rape charges against her husband, a Delhi court was told today. 44-year-old M Danish Husaini, a common friend of Farooqui and the US national, claimed before Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain that he was contacted by Farooqui’s wife Anusha Rizvi on the intervening night of June 19-20, 2015.

Danish, whose statement was concluded in the court today, further said that Rizvi had asked him to get in touch with the complainant and intervene so that she does not press rape charges against the film maker.

The witness, who was shown his call detail record (CDR), told the court during his cross examination that late that night he had received text messages on his mobile phone from an associate of Farooqui who made him talk to Rizvi. The statement of Danish was objected to by Farooqui’s counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan who said it was an “afterthought” and the court should not take it on record.

However, complainant’s counsel Vrinda Grover said it was not an afterthought as it was a fact which has come as evidence earlier too. After this, the court recorded the statement of Danish. The witness, who was also shown text messages exchanged between him and the US national, denied the suggestion of the defence that they had an unusual relationship.

The court summoned the researcher’s friends Jacqueline and Ashish for examination in the case tomorrow. Yesterday, the court had begun recording the statement of Danish, who had said that on the night of March 28, he had received messages from the woman saying she was sexually assaulted by the accused who had forced himself upon her.

The recording of victim’s statement was concluded on October 1, during which she had stuck to the rape allegations against Farooqui. On September 9, the court had started the trial in the case after framing charges of rape under section 376 (rape) of IPC against Farooqui, who has denied all charges against him.

The police had on June 19 lodged the FIR against Farooqui on the complaint of the woman after which the film maker was arrested. On June 29, a charge sheet was filed against Farooqui alleging he had raped the 30-year-old research scholar from Colombia University at his Sukhdev Vihar house in south Delhi on March 28 this year.

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