Teenage Bollywood actor Zaira Wasim says man molested her on Mumbai flight

Rachael Revesz
Airline is investigating and said it has 'zero tolerance for such behaviour': Getty Images/iStockphoto

A 17-year-old actress claimed she was molested by a "middle-aged man" during a flight in India.

Zaira Wasim, who recently starred in the largest grossing Bollywood film in history, said a man behind her on a flight from Delhi to Mumbai ran his foot up and down her back and prodded her shoulder.

The man, who has not been identified, reportedly stuck his bare foot through the gap between the window and her seat when she was half-asleep.

The teenager described what happened in an Instagram video, in which she was visibly distressed.

She explained that the alleged incident lasted for as long as 10 minutes and “he kept nudging [her] shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down [her] back and neck.”

“This is terrible,” she said. “This is not the way we should feel.”

She added: "No one will help us unless we decide to help ourselves.

"This is the worst thing."

Wasim said she did not notice his foot at first due to the turbulence of the flight, and that she also tried to film his behaviour but it was too dark.

The airline, Air Vistara, said it was investigating and posted a statement on social media.

“It appears crew only became aware of something amiss during final descent when they were seated for landing,” the statement read.

It added: “We apologise for what Ms Wasim experienced and we have zero tolerance for such behaviour.”

Wasim starred in the film Dangal last year. She was awarded the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement in 2017 by India’s President Ram Nath Kovind.

Wasim’s account comes as more people are speaking out about sexual abuse and harassment, partly thanks to the viral “MeToo” hashtag.