Probe into ‘Slumdog’ child star sale claim

Rubina Ali has backed her father over newspaper allegations he offered her to an undercover reporter.
India’s child-rights watchdog has sought a report from police investigating allegations by a tabloid that the father of a "Slumdog Millionaire" child star tried to sell her to an undercover reporter, the watchdog’s leader told CNN.

“We have sought a report from them and will take a decision after seeing it,” said Shantha Sinha, who heads the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Meanwhile, authorities in Mumbai have recorded the statements of Rafiq Qureshi; his “Slumdog” daughter, Rubina Ali; and his former wife, Khurshida Begum, senior police inspector Prakash Salunke told CNN. Qureshi has denied allegations that he tried to sell 9-year-old Rubina, Salunke said. In her statement, the child-actor favored her father, according to the police. Qureshi’s former wife, whom he divorced several years ago, endorsed the allegations leveled against him by the British newspaper.

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Police are investigating, Salunke said. “Slumdog Millionaire” won eight Oscars this year, including best picture.

Director Danny Boyle’s rags-to-riches movie tells the story of a tea-boy at a Mumbai call center who earns a spot in the Indian version of the quiz show “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” He raises the suspicion of the show’s host when, despite the lack of a formal education, he begins to answer the increasingly difficult questions with ease. The movie is set largely among the poverty-stricken districts of Mumbai, which is home to Rubina and other “Slumdog” child stars in real life.