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BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS SHRADHA SHARMA REGISTERS FIR AGAINST JETLITE AIRLINE

Actress Shradha Sharma accuses airline Jetlite officials of humiliation and torture

FIR registered against Jetlite loaders for theft of valuables worth Rs 2.6 lakh

By Frank Franklyn – Futuristic Media Network

Bollywood and TV actress, the glamorous Shradha Sharma has accused economy airline Jetlite (formerly Sahara Airways and now owned by the Jet Airways Group) of humiliation, torture and theft. In a police complaint registered by Shradha Sharma and her manager and publicist Flynn Remedios, Shradha has accused Jetlite staff and loaders of stealing her camera, cash, jewellery and other items like wallet containing credit cards, car keys and house keys.

The FIR No. 62/08 u/s 379 (theft) registered at the Airport Police Station near the domestic air terminal in Mumbai on 22nd November 2008, states that Shradha was returning to Mumbai on Saturday morning via a Jetlite flight S2 0107 from Delhi to Mumbai after a stage performance in Ghaziabad.

Shradha was running a fever due to the climate change and over exertion – she had been rehearsing for two days continuously and had taken ill due to stress. On her flight back from Delhi she was carrying about Rs 1.5 lakh in cash (given to her as professional fees for the stage show), her digital camera/camcorder, new N96 mobile phone and some other items totally valued at approximately Rs 3 lakh.

At Delhi airport while screening her baggage at the X-Ray machine, she told the attendant that she had valuables and money in her handbag and asked him if it was wiser to take it as hand baggage or put it in her suitcase. The attendant immediately responded that she should put the small handbag inside the main bag and that they would seal it in her presence. She did accordingly locking the suitcase and the loaders strapped it and sealed it after affixing the security sticker. Shradha was relieved as she wanted to go to sleep on the flight and didn’t want to have the tension of carrying the cash with her on flight.

Upon landing in Mumbai, at the conveyor belt she noticed that her bag was in tatters. The lock was missing and the zipper was broken. Even the side pocket zippers were open. It was obvious that the imported Marco Polo soft luggage suitcase had been broken into. She immediately checked her bag and found her expensive Cartier handbag – itself worth about Rs 20,000/- was missing and so were her cash and other items.

Shradha who was alone, immediately contacted the first Jetlite assistant she could spot and told him that her bag had been broken and cash was missing. The assistant looked at her from head to toe and immediately muttered to himself in Hindi under his breath and said, “Why do women with lesser clothes have more money.” He also told her that she was probably paying more attention to her clothes than to her belongings.

Shradha who was offended and broke into tears immediately, phoned her manager and publicist Flynn Remedios and another friend who rushed to the airport and reached in about 20 minutes.

Says Flynn Remedios, “Shradha was in tears and crying bitterly when I finally managed to get inside. As per rules non-passengers are not allowed to enter the departure or arrival lounges and the Airport Manager refused to give me a temporary pass even though I explained the situation to him. The CISF guards told me to get a pass from the Duty Manager and he in turn told me to get permission from the CISF. For about 30 minutes, I kept shuttling between the Duty Manager’s cabin and the CISF post. Shradha who was running a very high fever and was fatigued as the stage show had got over only at 2 am the previous night, was about to suffer a complete break down,” he said.

The drama continued for about two hours. Finally, Jetlite officials verified the tampered bag, weighed it and acknowledged in writing that about two kilograms was less. An FIR was registered for theft under section 379. “The police were very co-operative and immediately registered our complaint unlike the Jetlite officials,” said Shradha.

Adds Remedios, who is also a techno-legal professional, “Shradha didn’t tell me about the remarks passed by the male Jetlite staffer immediately or I would have insisted that the police add sections 354 and 509 of the IPC for insulting and outraging the modesty of a woman.” According to Shradha, she was running a very high fever and was completely fatigued. “I was helpless and crying and had lost my precious belongings worth Rs 3 lakh, but the Jetlite duty manager did not even bother to come and meet me for two minutes.” We asked for the duty manager, but were told he is busy and cannot attend to us. We were attended by very junior officials who had no authority to do anything, except weight the bag and make a report,” adds Flynn Remedios.

Jetlite officials are carrying out an internal investigation. The police have called for CCD camera data from Delhi airport as well as the X-Ray images of Shradha’s baggage which will prove that her baggage did contain the cash and valuables and identify the loaders at the X-Ray machine.

However Jetlite officials are trying to pass the blame on to Shradha claiming that she should not have put the cash into her check-in baggage. A Jetlite official even denied that the weight of Shradha’s luggage was less, in spite of having given a written memo.

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