Mumbai: 46-Year-Old Mulund Woman Faces Sexual Harassment By Moneylender Despite Repayment; Accused Arrested

Mumbai: 46-Year-Old Mulund Woman Faces Sexual Harassment By Moneylender Despite Repayment; Accused Arrested

The accused, a resident of MHADA Colony in Mulund East, is also backed by a local political party, where he is a karyakarta (worker).

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, November 27, 2023, 08:30 AM IST
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A 46-year-old widow, who had borrowed Rs 15,000 from a Mulund-based private money lender, faced atrocious sexual harassment on the pretext of repaying the interest amount. The matter first surfaced on November 24, when the woman, a resident of Mulund, approached the Navghar police.

According to the police, the woman’s husband died in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has since been living with her 16-year-old son. She works as a security guard at a hypermarket in Kanjurmarg. In 2022, she wanted to rent an apartment at MHADA Colony in Mulund East, and for the same, she was short of Rs 15,000, which she needed immediately to pay – to finalise the rental agreement.

Accused continued harassment despite repayment

While looking for lenders to borrow money, she came across a man named Vijay Janardan Khamkar – who agreed to lend her money with a whopping 15 per cent interest rate. The victim narrated her financial situation – after which he agreed to bring the interest down by 5 per cent - finally making it a 10 per cent interest. He paid her Rs. 13,500 after deducting the first installments. By the end of 2022, she managed to return the money, with the interest, despite which, he kept on calling her asking for more money.

“I realised his bad intentions towards me. He spoke to me in a very illicit manner, after which I decided to leave the room, and rented another apartment,” the victim said in her statement to the police.

'He kept swearing and attacking me'

On Friday morning, when the victim was in the bathroom, washing clothes, Khamkar allegedly entered the house and hugged her from behind. When she resisted, he grabbed her neck and started touching her inappropriately, she said. Despite paying all the due money, she added, “He kept on asking for the interest money, I kept crying to leave me, he kept swearing and attacking me. Then he grabbed my gown and assaulted me. I started screaming when he ran away from the house.”

The victim later narrated everything to her son when he returned home, they then approached the police and registered an FIR against Khamkar. According to senior police inspector Dattatram Girap, API Satish Patil was given the charge of the case – who arrested Khamkar on the same day. It is known that Khamkar has a history of lending money to the needy and then demanding exorbitant amounts in return on the pretext of interest rate.

Probe is underway

“In this case, the victim has already returned the amount she had borrowed but he kept demanding more. From Rs 15,000 – to now Rs. 50,000 is the amount he kept demanding from her, and when he knew she couldn’t return it, he sexually harassed her. Further probe in the matter is underway,” said an officer.

Khamkar, a resident of MHADA Colony in Mulund East, is also backed by a local political party, where he is a karyakarta (worker). He was presented in court on Saturday, where he was remanded to police custody for three days. He will be again presented in court on Tuesday, said the police.

Khamkar has been slapped with charges including 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture, act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code, and section 39 (doing money-lending without valid licence), and others of the Maharashtra Money-lending (Regulation) Act, 2014.

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