Rape charge against IPS officer Sunil Paraskar a publicity stunt: Victim’s ex-lawyer

Mumbai, Aug 5: In a new turn to the rape and molestation case against IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, a former lawyer of the alleged victim, a model-turned-actress, has said she never told him about the rape and claimed she brought up the charge to gain publicity to enter a reality show.

“I have submitted the messages exchanged between me and the victim through SMSes and WhatsApp. After going through these messages, it will be clear that she (the model) filed the case against DIG Paraskar purely for publicity so that she gets a place in a reality show,” Rizwan Siddiqui, who earlier represented the model, has told the police. Siddiqui was quizzed by the crime branch for nearly four hours yesterday when his statement was recorded.

The lawyer said he had sent a “notice” to Paraskar in the second week of July on behalf of the alleged victim to protest the demand by the officer for expensive gifts. The model has in her complaint to the police said Paraskar demanded expensive gifts from her. Siddiqui said he stopped representing the model after he realised her intentions were not “right”. He told the police he never heard from the model that she was raped by the officer until July 23 when she registered an FIR against him.

The model is now being represented by another lawyer Chitra Salunkhe, who alleged Siddiqui had tried to “bribe” her client. ”I have the recording where Rizwan Siddiqui suggests offering money to the victim and forget about the case,” Salunkhe said.

The 25-year-old model had lodged a complaint against Paraskar on July 23 accusing him of raping and molesting her between November 2013 and March 2014 when he was posted as the Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) with the Mumbai police. Following a complaint by the model, Paraskar was booked under IPC sections 376(2)(rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354 (D) (stalking). The 57-year-old DIG (Protection of Civil Rights Units) is at present posted at Maharashtra Police Headquarters.