Mumbai, Jan 2 (IANS) The shock in the Marathi film industry following reports of actor Ramesh Bhatkar's alleged complicity in a rape case in Pune has now turned to indignation.
The industry has yet to fully accept the fact that the integrity of a senior and a respected actor like Bhatkar could be called into question by the rape accusations levelled against him.
The general feeling in the Marathi film circles in Mumbai is one of disbelief. What has particularly outraged the industry is that it has seen the controversy as a blot on its image.
A Marathi film producer, requesting anonymity, told IANS that a career in Marathi films is barely as lucrative or glamorous as compared to Bollywood.
He wondered why the victim, an aspiring actress, who could barely speak Marathi properly, should be enamoured about getting a break in a Marathi film.
'Moreover, why did she allow herself to be allegedly taken for a ride by a man who promised to give her a break,' he asked.
President of the Marathi Chitrapat Nirmata Mahamandal, Satish Kulkarni, however, declined to comment over the raging controversy.
'The case is pending before a Pune court and will come up for hearing Saturday (Jan 5). The police have been ordered to submit to the court all evidences pertaining to the involvement of the key accused, Ravi Naidu and Bhatkar, on that day. Since the matter is sub-judice, it will be inappropriate to comment on it,' Kulkarni said.
When contacted, Jayant Umranikar, additional commissioner of police, Pune, refused to give details about the status of police investigations in the matter.
Naidu and Bhatkar, who were arrested by the Pune police following the victim's complaint, are out on bail.