Santacruz Police have arrested a 22-year-old man for raping a colleague inside a shut office at Juhu Tara Road on Wednesday. Police said the victim approached them a day after the incident and complained about the accused, Vikas Verma, who was immediately arrested and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Police said the woman worked at a clothing store's Santacruz branch and was a resident of south Mumbai. However, due to the lockdown, she was staying at her aunt's place in Dharavi for an easy commute to work.
On August 5, she was asked by her boss to visit the Juhu Tara branch to help out Verma, who was alone at the store on that day. After the woman reached the store, Verma tried to befriend her and also proposed a romantic relationship, which was turned down by the complainant.
Later in the evening, Verma told the woman that the civic officials would take a round of the area to ensure all shops are closed, and they should shut the shop from inside and switch off the lights and CCTV, failing which they will be harassed by the officials. On the pretext of coaxing her, Verma forced himself on the woman and raped her inside the store, said police.
The woman rushed to her aunt's place and shared her ordeal, following which they approached Dharavi Police to lodge a rape case the next day. While Dharavi Police registered the complaint, it was later transferred to Santacruz Police Station as the incident occurred under their jurisdiction.
Shriram Koregaonkar, senior inspector of Santacruz Police Station said, “Verma was arrested on August 6 from his residence at Vakola Pipeline and booked under relevant sections of the IPC for rape (section 376), wrongful confinement (sections 342) and criminal intimidation (section 506). He was produced in a local magistrate court and remanded in police custody.”