Kolkata, Sept 23 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): Tollywood actress Swastika Mukherjee has confessed in a media conference that the dowry harassment allegations she made against her estranged husband were false, apparently bringing a closure to an episode that has been playing out amidst full media glare for ten years.
“I was young, I did not have enough sense back then and I did what my family, friends and peers advised me to do,” is how Swastika on Wednesday chose to explain why she falsely accused her husband singer Promit Sen of “subjecting her to cruelty” and “criminal breach of trust”.
Swastika’s shocking but predictable confession comes a day after she apparently submitted an affidavit at a city court admitting that the charges she made against her husband and her in-laws under Indian Penal Code 498A and 406 were “unfounded, false, baseless and speculative”.
Swastika and Promit, the youngest son of renowned Rabindrasangeet exponent Sagar Sen, were married in June 1998, when the actress was just 18.
“Things started to go wrong around two years later when like a bolt from the blue my brother, our family and even me, who all lived in different places, were charged by her for dowry related crimes,” said Pritam Sen, Promit’s elder brother, who also attended the press conference.
“We went through hell for the past ten years. So many arrest warrants, all the expenses and the defamation aside, my brother is never going to get back the last ten years. He’s totally mentally devastated,” he added.
Though divorce was reportedly filed by Swastika in 2001, the cases are still under legal red tape.
Pritam said recently Swastika had issued a press release which after being published in the media made it seem as if the two parties had reached a compromise and were heading for divorce which was definitely not the case.
Hence Wednesday’s press conference was called by the actress “to come clean”.
“I am deeply sorry for all that Promit and his family has had to go through. I hope he can move on,” said Swastika.
“As far as the custody of our daughter Anwesha is concerned, lets see what plays out. She’s a ten-year-old girl and she too has a say in this,” she said.
When asked what drove her to suddenly make such an effort, she replied that it was not out of any pressure but just a “realisation”.
Sources, however, say this might be just a coup to get the divorce the 30-year-old actress, who is known for her ‘who cares’ attitude and has not exactly had the smoothest relationships over past few years, has been after for quite some time.
Pritam, however, said he and his family were pleased at Swastika’s confession.
He said, “I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see what this leads to. But we’ll not accept anything but a genuine apology.”
The Sen family is apparently not mulling pressing charges on the actress since they are “not vindictive people”, said Pritam.
The confession, apart from sending gossip mills in overdrive, also sheds light on the Indian Penal Code which leaves the door for such a heavy-handed charge wide open for misuse.