Mumbai: Convicted in Neeraj Grover murder case, Kannada starlet Maria Susairaj finally broke her silence and addressed the media at the Press Club here on Saturday. The judgment has received lot of flak across the country as people felt the judgment was unfair.
Amidst high drama, Maria’s lawyer, Sharif Sheikh, stated that contrary to police reports, Neeraj Grover’s body was not cut in 300 pieces. The lawyer also insisted that Neeraj had called Maria on that fateful night thrice and each time Maria had insisted that she was tired and couldn’t meet him. Sheikh stated that Maria would appeal against her conviction in a higher court.
Headed by filmmaker Ashok Pandit, Neeraj’s friends staged a protest in the middle of the press conference. They interrupted the conference several times and shouted slogans ‘She is a killer’.
Maria, who was initially reluctant to speak, was coaxed by the media and protestors to speak out. She said, “All I know is that I’m innocent.” Refusing to comment on the case or on Neeraj, Maria said she had left her past behind. When asked what her future plans were, Maria said she had not decided yet. “I am not going to decide anything for myself anymore.Let my family decide everything. I have put my past behind. I have not yet realised what is happening with me," she said.
As the situation threatened to go out of control due to the protest, Maria's lawyer Sheikh said those who did not want to hear what was being said at the media conference were free to leave the premises or the interaction will be called off abruptly.
Soon police was called in and the protesters were shown the door. Some of them were shoved out of the venue by media persons who said if they had to make a point they should hold a press conference.
On her complicity in the crime, Sheikh said, "She had gone to buy materials to dispose of Grover's body only because she was threatened by Jerome."
When asked if she was still close to Jerome, who was awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment in the case and still has to serve seven years, she replied in the negative.
"I am here with you. How can I be close to him," she said. On whether they were still "just friends", she shot back with a terse "no".
(With Agency inputs)