Peepli Live’ director convicted of rape by court



NEW DELHI: A Bollywood director was convicted of raping an American research scholar last year, India’s main news agency said.

Mahmood Farooqui, best known for co-directing the popular 2010 satire “Peepli Live” on farmer suicides, was found guilty of the attack last March by a fast-track court hearing the case in New Delhi, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The victim, then aged 35, had travelled to India to seek Farooqui’s assistance with her research when the attack took place at his home in an upscale area of the capital.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain will now decide on the sentence after hearing arguments on Tuesday, PTI said.

Farooqui, who was taken into custody as soon as the judge read the verdict, denies the allegations.

The woman returned to the US shortly after the incident but came back to report the matter to police.

“Peepli Live”, which explores the divide between urban and rural India, was produced by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

Farooqui co-directed it with his wife Anusha Rizvi, who had earlier dismissed the complaint against her husband as “manipulated and false”.

India introduced tough laws against sex offenders in the wake of the fatal gang-rape of a Delhi student in the capital in December 2012 that sparked mass street protests. But high levels of sexual violence against women continue.