Indian film 'Peepli Live' co-director convicted of raping US researcher

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Judge Sanjiv Jain held Farooqui guilty of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Jain said a decision on the sentence would be announced on August 2. Farooqui faces a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment.

According to the victim – in her thirties – Farooqui had been drunk and raped her on March 28 last year, when she had gone to his house in an upscale area of New Delhi for help with her research.

Peepli live drew attention for its sensitive depiction of farmers’ problems in India

The woman went back to the US after the incident, but returned to India to file a complaint against Farooqui. Police registered a case on July 19, 2015 and proceedings began in September. Farooqui denied the allegations.

He is best known for his 2010 film “Peepli Live,” which he produced together with his wife, Anusha Rizwi. The film won international acclaim for portraying farmer suicides in India. His wife had earlier dismissed the rape charges as “manipulated and false.”

India tightened laws to punish rape offenders after five men brutally raped a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in December 2012. The incident sparked massive protests demanding more safety for women. However, sexual violence continues to be rampant in the country.

mg/rc (AFP, PTI)

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