Mumbai, Jan 4 (IANS) Model-turned-actress Koena Mitra was attacked by a stalker inside the Sahara Star Hotel here on New Year's Eve after she had performed there.
'I had this most traumatic experience. I was physically attacked by a man, about six feet tall. It started with him following me around at the show,' Koena told IANS. The show was at the hotel, where she was performing with Bipasha Basu and Tanushree Dutta.
'Right from the start, I could see his eyes trailing me. I thought he was just another fan, so it was okay. Before the show, he came up to me and asked for a photograph. I sportingly agreed. Then he asked, 'Can I hold you for the picture?' I told him to take a hike and the security guys whisked him off,' Koena recounted.
'After the show, all of us - Bipasha Basu, Tanushree Dutta and I - proceeded to the VVIP lounge to relax. How was I to know that the stalker would show up there,' the Bollywood actress asked.
'When I saw him, I froze. But he wanted to shake my hand. Thinking that he'd leave me alone after shaking my hand, I agreed. When he shook my hand, he crushed it so hard that it hurt. The look of horror must've showed in my eyes because the security men came running and pushed him way.'
But that was not end of her ordeal.
'Before anyone knew what was happening, the demented man pounced on me and grabbed at my waist,' Koena said. 'I was so shocked that I hit him. The man was so tall that my blows landed on his shoulders. By then, everyone in the room was frantic. Tanushree and the others screamed.'
Koena said she had no idea that something 'so horrible' could take place inside a five-star hotel. 'With all the security around us and the VVIP treatment, how secure are we, the so-called celebrities? The cops told us to wear decent clothes and threatened to punish us if we broke the dress code for our performances on New Year's Eve.'
Indignantly, she added: ' We know how to take care of such things. Instead of keeping an eye on us, shouldn't the cops look out for those poor women on the streets who fall prey to unwanted attention?'
Koena still quakes when reminded of the incident. 'I was so scared after the incident that I refused to go to a party with my friends after the show. I went to Mount Mary Church and (then) headed home.'
Koena feels the intruder can strike again.
'He kept screaming that he has dozens of my pictures on his phone. I saw the look in his eyes. It wasn't the look of a decent man,' said Koena, who celebrates her birthday on Jan 7.
'I'm going to be very careful about where I go and how I celebrate my birthday.'