Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja, arrested on the charge of raping his domestic help, appeared remorseful, police claimed on Wednesday but his wife rubbished reports that he has "confessed", saying he was being framed.
Ahuja, 35, who will be produced in court on Thursday after being in police custody for three days, was "completely shattered and is repenting for what he had done," Assistant Police Commissioner Dilip Suryavanshi told reporters.
Refuting that Ahuja has made any confession, his wife, Anupam said he is "completely innocent". "This is a frame-up," she said but did not want to speculate on being asked who could be interested in targeting her husband.
Ahuja's lawyer, Srikant Shivade, said if the actor has given any statement to police on his alleged role in the crime, it would not have evidential value in the court. "We will wait until the charge sheet is filed," he said.
Ahuja was arrested on Monday on the charge of raping his 18-year old domestic help when she was alone at their residence in suburban Oshiwara the previous day.
Police claimed that during interrogation Ahuja said it never occurred to him that the crime he was committing was so "serious".
"He thought the victim would keep quiet and not complain to anyone," a police officer said adding "though the actor was uncomfortable during interrogation, yet he answered many of our questions."
Anupam held a press conference accompanied by her neighbours and friends to give her version as television channels started airing reports of what Ahuja purportedly said during interrogation.
"I am proud to be Mrs Shiney Ahuja. He is my man. I know him for 15 years...he doesn't drink," she said. Asked about medical reports which police claimed showed that the maid was sexually assaulted, Anupam said she had heard different versions of these reports and would rather wait for the documents to be produced before court.
"He is a celebrity. May be he is a soft target," she said on being asked why she felt Ahuja was being targeted.
Anupam said she has not spoken to her husband ever since his arrest. "I have only seen him in court. We have looked at each other. He knows and I know that he is innocent".
Ruchika Wadhwa, who is Ahuja's neighbour, said he was a loving father who was often seen in the evenings taking his two-year old daughter on a pram in the housing complex.
Ahuja, who is lodged in the Andheri police station lock-up, was questioned for the third consecutive day. Police is contemplating a DNA test on him to gather corroborative evidence.
A team of Mumbai police has gone to Roha in nearby Raigad district, the native place of the victim, to verify from her school whether she was a minor.
Source: Screen India.