The accused have been arrested. What is your reaction now?
It's actually hard to express it in a few words. I myself could not believe everything would happen so fast. In fact, I was not feeling anything until the perpetrators were arrested. When I saw them arrested on TV, I felt as if I had regained my strength. My energy to work, to eat seemed to come back. Everyone's support did not go in vain. Yesterday everyone saw me crying. I can laugh a little now.
Did you expect the authorities to take action so quickly?
The incident happened to me on the night of 9 June at the Uttara Boat Club. Since then I have not been in a normal state. I felt like I would die.
Even in that situation, I went to Zayed Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti. I went to Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, the former president of the Bangladesh Film Directors' Association. I went to the police station even before that. But no one helped me.
Everyone I went to after the incident stopped me. I tried a lot to contact someone but could not reach him. That's when I felt very insecure. I decided then that if I have to die, might as well take the culprits along with me. Why should I die alone? It was beyond my expectation that action would be taken immediately after I made the matter public (through the Facebook post).
Zayed Khan says he is always by your side...
I am a member of the Bangladesh Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti. I could do a lot alone if I wanted to. But I didn't want that in the beginning. I wanted my organisation to be by my side as my disgrace is their disgrace too. So I went to general secretary Zayed Khan. He had assured me at first, which gave me confidence. However, he did not even call me once in two days after that. After three days, he said the person I wanted to contact is not in Dhaka. I was very hurt and disappointed at this. I posted about the incident on Facebook after being left with no choice. Now if the association says it is by my side, then so be it. However, I did not find any of those whom I thought were my own.
Actions were taken quickly and the accused were caught. Does the credit go to Pori Moni for that or someone else?
The credit goes to the media and my journalist brothers. They had no alternative. Also, the administration has shown how strong our rule of law is. They can do anything they want.
However, the gossip on social media is that there was a time when you used to be rude to journalists...
The people I misbehaved with were not real journalists but posers. You (journalists) find out who I have been rude to. Those who are real journalists have supported me from the beginning and I also respected them.
We have come to know that you have only your grandfather left as a guardian in your family. Does he know about the incident?
My grandfather is 113 years old. He stays with me and understands me the most. I didn't want to let him know about this. But with so many people coming home he either somehow found out or someone told him on the phone. After everyone left last night (13 June) he asked me what had happened. Even then I could not say everything openly. I cried. Then he just told me one thing, 'be Strong'. I have been gaining bits of energy since then.
The matter is now pending with the court. Do you have enough evidence to substantiate the allegations?
I have given all the evidence and you have seen it. If you watch the CCTV footage (from Uttara Boat Club) of that day, a lot will be revealed as well. I want them to be collected quickly. The waiters there helped me a lot that day. I will be forever grateful to them. They were repeatedly told to turn off the lights but they did not, instead they stood near the boards holding the switches. If they had not helped, I might have been killed there that day.
Do you want to give a message to country's women through this incident?
In fact, I have come to realise in the last few days why those who go through such a situation commit suicide. Had I not been Pori Moni the actor, I might have made that decision or would have been forced to.
Those whom I have informed about the incident have asked me to think about my dignity. They said I will not have any dignity left (if I let people know about the incident). However, if you let everyone know what has already hurt your dignity, what else will happen! So I thought I would tell everyone about it regardless of what may happen after that. For the women, I would say strangers should not be trusted. If it sounds like I am a coward, so be it. Because I was terrified myself. If something unexpected happens, die only after telling the truth. If someone dies in such a situation, then that death is not a solution. So tell the real story before you die.