Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Businessman held for molesting actress on Delhi-Mumbai flight

Mumbai: A businessman from Ghaziabad has been arrested for allegedly sexually harassing an actress on a Delhi-Mumbai flight. The woman had alerted the cabin crew and approached the police soon after the incident.

The 40-year-old woman who lives in Mumbai had gone to Delhi on October 1. On October 3, she boarded a flight to return to Mumbai.

The aircraft landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai around 11am. She got up and opened the overhead storage to take out her handbag.

According to her complaint, she felt a stranger suddenly grab her from behind by the waist and pull her towards him to which she reacted in anger.

At this, the stranger remarked that he did not realise she was a woman and thought it was a male co-passenger.

After initial mix-up, bizman booked for sex harassment.

The woman complained to a cabin crew member who asked her to mail her complaint to their customer relations team. The cabin crew also asked a man to step aside. They asked him for his name and seat number. The passenger gave his name as Rajeev. The same evening, the woman mailed the airline.

She then approached Versova police station that, in turn, directed her to Sahar police station in whose jurisdiction the alleged incident had occurred. She told the police she was shaken and confided in a friend who offered her support.

After lodging an FIR, the Sahar police reached out to the airline asking for details of Rajeev. The airline responded with his contact details as well as of the others travelling with him. When the police made inquiries with him, though, Rajeev replied he was not involved in the crime. He then sent a photograph of himself and his co-travellers to the police. From the photo, the woman identified another passenger, Nitin B, as the one who had allegedly molested her.

It is not clear from the FIR if the person asked to step aside by the flight crew was Rajeev like he said or Nitin. “We re-approached the airline and asked for details of all passengers on board that day. Nitin’s seat number was verified. After establishing he was involved in the crime, his name was added to the FIR,” said a cop.

Nitin (36), who runs a business in Ghaziabad, appeared before the Sahar police station and was taken into custody on October 14. He has been booked under IPC provisions for sexual harassment. Police have also written to a court in Bhoiwada about recording the woman’s statement before a magistrate under CrPC.

19/10/21 Nitasha Natu/Times of India

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