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Sister bats for ‘demonised’ designer

Mumbai, Jan. 2 (PTI): Indian designer Anand Jon, who is facing a slew of sexual assault and molestation charges in the US, is “being demonised” because of his success in the American fashion industry, his sister alleged today.

“This demonisation is (happening) because he broke into an industry where Americans find it difficult to break into,” Sanjana Jon, his US-based sister, said in Mumbai.

Anand, an Indian citizen, is facing complaints of rape or molestation from 30 women in several states of the US. He has been in jail in Los Angeles since June 2007.

“All these complaints started coming after Anand’s company got funded.… Some of them date back to five years. Why did these girls not file complaints immediately?” Sanjana said, fighting back tears.

According to her, when the first of these complaints was filed on March 6, 2007, Anand was about to launch his denim line in association with a company called Genisis.

Her lawyer Majeed Memon, too, said there was a possibility that “Anand’s phenomenal success raised a few eyebrows. They could not digest it” and “connived” to implicate him in false cases.

“Racial discrimination could be a factor,” Memon added.

The lawyer said some of the complaints were “ridiculous and absurd” and added that there was no medical evidence of sexual assault in any of the cases.

Sanjana said the allegations made no “sense” because the complainants continued to go around with Anand after the alleged incidents.

“Some of them came to India with us after the incidents. Does this make sense?”

Asked what help she expected from the government, Sanjana said she merely wanted to make people aware of her brother’s predicament through the Indian media.

Memon, a member of the Nationalist Congress Party, said they would approach the Prime Minister’s Office.

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