Acid attack case: Jerrit John claims he was framed
Jerrit John, out on bail after spending three of his five-year prison term for chucking chemical on his ex-girlfriend, has denied everything and claimed he was framed, in an an exclusive interview. John, who was granted bail by the high court on January 25, said he had wanted to go to the police with his version after taking legal advice but was arrested before that.
According to the prosecution, on November 10, 2012, John threw acid on his former girlfriend Aryanka Hosbetkar outside her Worli home. In October 2015, a special court convicted him for causing grievous hurt by means of a corrosive substance under Section 326, for wrongful confinement under Section 342 and for house trespass after preparation for hurt under Section 452 of the Indian Penal Code.
John appealed at the HC, which has granted him bail as he had already served three years. John narrates what he claims is his side of the story:
Denies acid attack
My marriage was on the rocks, and to keep myself busy, I started going to Carter Road for cycling. I met a group and was about to ask another of her friends out, but she had a child. This woman introduced me to Aryanka and told me that she is a nice woman and I gave it serious thought. We met in September 2011 and by December we were dating. She told me one day that she was in a relationship but she was going to call it off. From Day Zero, she was aware of my marriage and the kid. She soon began forcing me to get a divorce. I tried to convince her that my kid is young, I am very much attached to him and once he grows up I can explain it to him but she kept pushing me. In November 2012, she said her sister was coming from London and that I will have to get her approval.
I eventually filed for the divorce but the same day I got a mail from Aryanka saying she cannot continue with the relationship. I thought it was a joke. From then till the day of the incident there was no contact or messages between us.
On the day of the incident, I met her at 1.30 am near her building. I said I wasn’t there to disturb anyone and only to talk to her amicably. But she refused to talk to me without giving any reason. Then she called her friends, claiming she wanted them to be part of the conversation. She told me she had gone through my email and had found out I have another girl in my life. I clarified that it was in the past. To convince her I even deleted all the mails from past. But she said it was too late and she had lost all faith in me.
I got angry and told her even I could dig up her past and she wouldn’t be able to handle it. She threatened to call her mother and tell everything about me and end the relationship. I wanted to stop her so I snatched her phone and started driving towards Bandra in my Jeep. I checked her messages. After going through some of the messages on her phone, I realised that the married woman whom I was dating was poisoning Aryanka. Surprisingly, all the messages kept deleting by themselves and all the data vanished from her phone in five to seven minutes. I then got a call from a friend who was with Aryanka. I said I only want an apology and that I will walk out. They called me to her home and I went back.
Her mother was there with one more friend. I told Aryanka that after she broke up with me, I had visited every church possible, did lot of charity, prayed a lot and even fasted to know what went wrong. I said I had even divorced my wife. Why did my child have to go through this, I asked. She just said, “Ok yaar theek hai I am sorry. Saying that she went into a room. Two of her male friends came out and held me tightly by my hand. I realised they were trying to trap me. I wriggled out and ran outside. As soon as I came down I thought I will go to Worli police station and report about the matter. But in that state of mind, I took a wrong turn and reached near airport. Not able to decide anything, I drove till Nalasopara, thinking I will take legal help before going to the police.
But the next day, I woke up to the news that an FIR has been registered against me at Dadar police station and that I was on the run after flinging acid on Aryanka and that she had sustained 90 percent burns.
Even after everything, I do not regret being with her. There are certain unanswered questions but I will have to live with it. I don’t hold any grudges. Every relation teaches us something and makes us better. I have learnt a lot. I am a bigger, better human than ever. I always loved and respected woman in my life. Even after going to jail, I continued loving her. But I don’t anymore because I have grown over it. I still respect her. I wish I could give her a hug and a big smile if I meet her. I would not suggest anyone to force love on someone. It has to come naturally… Let the flow of love pour out, ooze out, it should go in the direction that it goes...