New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The National Commission for Women (NCW) has initiated a probe against a man and his company IMG Ventures, allegedly promoted by some Bollywood and TV personalities, after accusations of blackmail and sexual assault on many young women on the pretext of offering modelling opportunities.
“As it is a very serious issue in which many young girls have come forward and given some proof, the NCW will be doing a thorough inquiry into the matter and taking up the matter with police authorities concerned,” National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma tweeted.
“I have received a complaint from Yogita Bhayana against one Sunny Verma, promoter of IMG Ventures, who according to the complaint has been blackmailing and sexually assaulting a number of women on the pretext of (providing) modelling opportunities. A number of TV and film actors are also promoting his company in a video advertisement.”
The complainant has alleged that the company is promoted by Bollywood and television stars, including Mahesh Bhatt, Sonu Sood, Urvashi Rautela, Mouni Roy, Rannvijay Singh, Prince Narula, and Esha Gupta.
In her complaint to the NCW, People Against Rape in India (PARI) founder Yogita Bhayana alleged that Sunny Verma, through his company, invites young women/girls on the pretext of organising Miss Asia contest with a claim that the contest will launch them as models.
The complaint further mentions that to make it look genuine, his company has also been charging entry fee of Rs 2,950 from each applicant. Once the girls apply, they are asked by female accomplices of Sunny Verma to submit nude pictures in order to get better ranking in the contest.
“After receiving the nude pictures and sometime even before that, Sunny used to get in touch with the girls to push them for completely nude pictures and videos. He also used to allude as well as threaten them to submit to his sexual desires if they were interested in modelling as a career or wish to win the contest,” the complaint said.
The complaint claimed that once Sunny established physical relations with the young women, he used to blackmail them for regular sexual favours and many girls/women from across the country have suffered sexual and mental assault at the hands of Sunny and his accomplices.
In her complaint, Bhayana said, “I have now received several letters, texts and audio clips from several girls as proof of this modus operandi of Sunny Verma and IMG. The girls have written details of sexual harassment under the condition that their names and identity will not be revealed. They have also shared their chat screen shots and audio call records with Sunny Verma. The chats are full of demands of sexual favours from Sunny Verma.”
“We request the NCW to take cognisance of our complaint and take appropriate action against Sunny Verma, his female accomplices, the partners of the company as well as against the Bollywood stars who are promoting IMG Ventures in spite of knowing everything,” the complainant said.