Lonavala, 18th January 2024: The proprietor of a prominent resort in Lonavala has been apprehended on charges of molesting and sexually harassing a minor girl from Ghatkopar. The case, filed under the IPC and POCSO Act, unfolded as the girl reported receiving explicit messages on her WhatsApp from the 56-year-old accused since December 2022.
The parents of the girl, who operate a tours and travel business in Ghatkopar, have been conducting business meetings at the Lonavala resort for the past two years. During these visits, the accused allegedly persisted in sending inappropriate messages to the girl, despite her objections. Even after she blocked him, the accused reportedly resorted to threats, claiming that her actions would adversely impact her mother’s business, instilling fear in the girl.
In a distressing incident last week, the businessman allegedly kissed the minor in a Ghatkopar mall restaurant, where her mother had briefly left them alone. The accused purportedly pressured the girl to accompany him to a hotel, prompting her to share the entire ordeal with her parents. Additionally, she revealed that the accused had been harassing her through video calls.
Subsequently, the girl and her parents sought assistance from the Pant Nagar police. Based on her statement, the authorities registered a case under sections 354 (outraging modesty of a woman), 354D (stalking), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the POCSO Act.