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Sajid Khan denies accusations, survivors cry foul as IFTDA inquiry begins


The director is expected to present his case before the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) in Mumbai today. 

Shriram Iyengar

Even as the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) begins questioning Sajid Khan today, the survivors who have accused the Housefull (2010) director of sexual harassment have raised questions on why they hadn't yet been called to give their statements.

In his response to the IFTDA's notice against him, Khan had put out a statement denying the allegations, while saying he is willing to 'extend his cooperation' to any inquiry by the IFTDA. "I apologise to IFTDA if any embarrassment has been caused to the association by the alleged accusation against me. These allegations have not only caused irreparable harm to my career, but more importantly, grieved my mother and sister [director Farah Khan] immensely. At the outset, I deny the complaints leveled against me as stated in your notice. I humbly request you not to form any one-sided judgment. I am always happy to extend any cooperation to my association." Khan said in his statement.

However, the survivors who accused Khan have raised several questions on the nature and form of the inquiry. On 31 October, Rachel White, one the victims tweeted asking the IFTDA to call upon the survivors to present evidence against the director.

White added, 'Are we waiting for a first-time case where the accused admits he’s guilty? 🙄 A habitual offender with more than 5 complaints calls us liars now ?'

In addition, Simran Kaur Suri also called out the directors' association to ask Khan to face his victims as part of the inquiry.

While Cinestaan.com sent a message and called Ashoke Pandit, member, IFTDA, he was unavailable for a response. Speaking to an online magazine on 31 October, Pandit had stated that the IFTDA will conduct a fair trial.

"We have heard the Sajid Khan complainants at length when we met a few of them. The rest of them have written to us also in detail. So, we shall be questioning Sajid on all counts. Plus, we will have the minutes of whatever he says. We are doing a very transparent job. There's nothing to worry. The next step would be to call all the complainants together and have a meeting with them," Pandit said.

Khan has stepped down as the director of Housefull 4, and has been accused by six women including Rachel White, Saloni Chopra, Simran Kaur Suri, and journalist Karishma Upadhyay.

In addition to Khan, actor Alok Nath is also expected to arrive at the IFTDA office in Mumbai to answer the notice issued against him. Nath has been accused of rape by writer-director Vinta Nanda, as well as sexual harassment and misbehaviour by several prominent actresses including Navneet Nishan, Amita Nangia, Deepika Amin, and Sandhya Mridul.

Related topics

Sexual harassment