New Delhi: If the alleged stalking incident involving a Haryana BJP MLA’s son makes your blood boil, here is a case that could scare you out of your wits. A 38-year-old woman has filed a complaint of stalking, extortion and sexual assault against a former senior colleague, who she claims not only assaulted her in India but continued the harassment and stalking even after she moved to Australia with her husband and two children.
The police have booked the accused for causing hurt, rape, cheating, voyeurism and criminal intimidation. The woman met the alleged perpetrator in her office. The accused was in the same department, but based in Hyderabad. Being the nature of the job, the victim often had to communicate with him.
“We used to have regular teleconferences and he would often travel to Gurugram for work. He even started involving me in his projects and make conscious efforts to be friendly and empathetic, and even appreciate my efforts in public,” she said. About four out of five Indian women have faced public harassment ranging from staring, insults and wolf-whistling to being followed, groped or raped, said a survey by the charity Action Aid UK last year.
Hundreds of women this month took to social media to post selfies of themselves out at midnight with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella after a senior politician questioned why the woman, who was reportedly stalked by the Haryana MLAs son, was out at night. The victim alleged that the man eventually started discussing his personal life with her and would narrate stories of how he was facing a difficult time.
“He used to tell me about his cruel and selfish wife who had eloped with her cousin and how he was raising a daughter with special needs all alone without any support from the family. He told me that he needed a friend in such difficult times for stories and he was calling the frequently to discuss work and personal problems,” she told the police. In March 2013, she claims that knowing she would be all alone at her Gurugram residence, the accused called her and said he was coming over in the evening.
“I poured him and myself a glass of cold drink. After serving him the drink I went inside the kitchen for a couple of minutes,” says the FIR. After they finished the drinks, the victim says she fell unconscious. When she woke up, she found herself lying nude in the bedroom and the accused, who was sitting on a chair, asked her to forget what had happened and threatened her to keep quiet, saying otherwise she would risk not just het job but also her reputation.
“He threatened to leak my objectionable photos, the video of the incident and asked me to please him in all ways and keep him happy,” the FIR says. After that day, the woman says she was forced to accompany him to several high-end hotels and various cities across the country. “When I pleaded him to let me go, he began blackmailing me by threatening to reveal the incident to my husband and therefore I was forced to bear the pain of mental and sexual abuse.” The woman also alleges that he began extorting money from her and she had paid him lakhs of rupees at several intervals.
“He sought `20 lakh as a lump sum amount to end the assault. I even agreed to that. However, a few days later I was again subjected to the assault,” she said. The victim claims that the man stalked her to so closely that he even knew about her plans to migrate to Australia.
Even after she moved, the accused continued to harass her. “He sent a long message to my husband, assassinating my character and sent us emails. His emails gave me feelers that he was still following me. I thought of complaining to the police just before moving to Australia but I did not do it to avoid being placed in an uncomfortable situation.” The woman says she was walking on the streets of Melbourne one day, when someone touched her on the shoulder from behind, introduced himself as the accused and told her, “Prepare to die.” However, when the victim turned around, she could not find anyone.