Fashion designer falls victim to casting couch

The 23-year-old was allegedly sexually harassed and physically assaulted by an advertisement firm owner and an art director in south Delhi on the pretext of giving her an assignment. 

The owner of an advertisement company and his friend an art director were arrested by police after they allegedly sexually harassed a 23-year-old fashion designer on the pretext of giving her an assignment. The duo called the victim, Nikita (name changed on request) at their flat where they allegedly locked her in a room and physically assaulted her. The incident has been reported from Safdarjung area of south Delhi.

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A senior police official said that Nikita lives in Defence Colony of south Delhi and has been known to the accused persons for a long time. They used to give her assignments and would pay her accordingly. 

Representative pic

Hidden agenda
"The accused owner of an advertisement company Mohammed Rahil called the victim on the pretext of some work. However, Nikita at first turned down the offer. She told them that she had some other work to do. Rahil asked her to meet them once and called her to his flat in the area," said the police official. He also said that when she reached the address, the victim found Sukanta Kundu (the art director) the second accused in the case was already present there. The trio talked for a while. 

"Nikita again turned down their proposal and decided to leave the place. The accused closed the door from the inside and did not allow her to go. They harassed her and physically assaulted her," said the police official. After sometime they opened the door. Nikita left and directly approached the police. The official said that when the police contacted the miscreants they said that Nikita was cooking up stories. 

'She's lying'
"We wanted to give her some work but she perhaps wanted more money. She is lying," they told the police. The official said that the accused were arrested. "She said that the accused on the pretext of giving her an assignment have molested her. Police lodged an FIR under section 354 (molestation) and 342 (holding a person hostage) and 34 (common intention) against them. They were both arrested by the police," said the police 

Who's safe?
As reported by MiD DAY on October 11, a room attendant at a three-star hotel in south Delhi allegedly assaulted and attempted to rape a 24-year-old fashion designer from Bangalore, who had come to the Capital to meet her close friends and attend the fashion week that was on, in her room.

The victim, Neha (name changed) somehow escaped the clutches of the accused and called the police. The room attendant was arrested from the spot and an FIR under section 376/511 (attempt to rape) was lodged against him at Malviya Nagar police station of south Delhi.

A senior police official close to the investigation said on the condition of anonymity that the incident took place at Hotel Justa The Residence that is situated in Panchsheel area. "The room attendant has been identified as Ajay Kumar. He had been working in the hotel for the past three years. According to the victim, on October 8, the accused came to her room on the pretext of room service. Finding her alone he assaulted her.
The victim was pushed onto the bed; the accused tried to remove her clothes. Neha tried to defend herself and a scuffle broke out between them. She somehow escaped from his clutches and managed to call PCR," said the police.

The official said that the room attendant was handed over to the police by the hotel staff who had gathered at the spot hearing the commotion. The victim gave her written statement to the cops against Ajay Kumar. The police official said that the victim left for her hometown a day after the incident. DCP (south) Chhaya Sharma was unavailable for comments.

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