In a shocking incident, Bollywood actor Poonam Pandey filed an FIR against her husband Sam Bombay for molestation and assault. Pandey, 29, who was shooting for a film in Goa, filed a complaint claiming he had molested, threatened and assaulted her. The incident occurred in South Goa’s Canacona village, just 13 days after the actress tied the knot with Bombay.
Bombay is a Bollywood producer, editor and director, became viral after Pandey announced that the duo was dating. Recently, the duo got married in a hush-hush ceremony on September 1 and shared the announcements on social media.
The police FIR by Pandey against Bombay has nevertheless led to a stream of sexist and misogynistic comments against Pandey, who has often been in the eye of controversy for her comments.
On Wednesday, Poonam Pandey started trending on Twitter with many attacking her for allegedly faking the FIR in order to get extort money out of Bombay. Even though Canacona Police confirmed that Pandey had been subjected to mandatory medical tests at the time of filing the FIR against Bombay, many alleged that the model and actress was indeed lying.
Despite being an alleged assault survivor, many accused Pandey of falsely using Section 498(a) of the Indian Penal Code which punishes a husband or relative for cruelty toward a woman. Pandey, who is known for her “bold” photoshoots, became an easy target for misogynistic bile.
BRAVO! WHAT A DEAL #PoonamPandey, EASY EARNING SCHEME WITHIN 11 DAYS.
Poonam's husband Sam arrested, they got married on Sep11, she filed a complaint against her husband claiming he had molested, threatened, assaulted her
Soon she will file maintenance ,DV, 498a demanding money. pic.twitter.com/oZFfYJjnGH
— Barkha Trehan / बरखा त्रेहन (@barkhatrehan16) September 23, 2020
#PoonamPandey 13 Days After Marriage, Files FIR Against Husband for 'Assaulting' Her, hires a #NamiGrami lawyer to file for divorce and claim the house that she lived all these while with her BF alias Hubby. He would be slapped with 498A if things don't fall in place on her terms
— QueenBee (@VaidehiTaman) September 23, 2020
#PoonamPandey planned an Easy Earning Scheme within just 13 days of her so-called marriage. A master stroke!
She filed FIR, her husband got arrested. Soon she'll demand money seeking divorce & maintenance.
Everyone knows what she does on & off the screen. Nobody can molest her. pic.twitter.com/9gkbA5ax66
— Alter Ego (@Alter_Ego45) September 23, 2020
The incident brought back and older debate about the rights and consent of married women in India when it comes to their husbands. Incidentally, marital rape is still not a recognised criminal offence in India despite repeated calls for the same.
Please know that your wife also can file a case of Molestation on you if you touch her inappropriately or try to outrage her modesty.
No exceptions here as a husband. You'll be arrested too. #PoonamPandey
— Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj (@DeepikaBhardwaj) September 23, 2020
Yet others made crass memes and jokes.
— shakti rana (@shaktirana77) September 23, 2020
— Troll troll troll troll troll troll (@memeskashowroo2) September 23, 2020
Some, however, came out in support of the actress.
#PoonamPandey This lady filed a complaint against her husband for molestation. Irrespective of what she does on screen or wherever, nobody can molest her. Why am I seeing memes on her like she fake or she deserved it? Can we please wait for the police to say even if it is fake?
— Mitali Korea (@KoreaMitali) September 22, 2020
The fact that ppl think #PoonamPandey can't get harrased because of the job she does, tells you everything you need to know about sex education or lack thereof in our country
— Literary Escapade (@Damsel_is_high) September 22, 2020
Pandey, who shot to fame in 2012 after she promised to strip in Wankhede Stadium if Indian won the cricket World Cup, has not issued any official statement about the matter. Nevertheless, the relentless trolling of a woman who filed an FIR after allegedly getting assaulted and molested shows the collective degeneracy of most Indians, both men and women. Even before the police or a court of law could prove or refute Pandey’s claims, social media trolls have already started acting as judge, jury and executioner.