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Mumbai crime: After harassing woman for 14 years, man finally behind bars

Since the year 2000, the 38-year-old had been sending the complainant love letters, even after she wed another man; when he started sending the amorous notes to her neighbours to embarrass her, the woman finally lodged an FIR

A woman who had been at the receiving end of a colleague’s unwelcome overtures for 14 long years finally lodged an FIR, when the man started sending love letters addressed to the woman to her neighbours.

The Crime Branch Unit VII on Tuesday arrested the 38-year-old man who had been harassing the complainant since the year 2000. The accused has been identified as Milind Dattaram Palav and is said to be the son of a retired policeman.

The woman and the accused are colleagues in a private organisation. Since the year 2000, he had been sending love letters to the woman, and even proposed marriage to her in 2001 which she promptly rejected. An officer from Crime Branch Unit VII said, requesting anonymity, “After turning down Palav’s proposal in 2001, the woman got married to a man who worked in the same organisation.

But the accused continued to harass her. He had even threatened her before her wedding, for which she lodged a non-cognisable offence in Nallasopara.” Over the years, the accused called the woman relentlessly, and kept up a steady flow of love letters, which were etched out in paint.

In each of the letters, he kept professing his ardent love for the woman, telling her that he couldn’t ‘live without her’ and demanding to know why she had ‘spoilt his life.’ Each overture was rebuffed. Desperate for attention, the man on April 4 sent letters to the woman’s neighbours, causing embarrassment to the complainant.

This was the proverbial last straw for her. “His behaviour made her furious, and she decided she had enough and registered a complaint with the Kanjurmarg police station the next day. She was concerned about her safety,” added the officer.

Police officials then picked up the man from his residence in Prateeksha Nagar, Sion, on Tuesday morning. He accepted the charges during interrogations. The officer added, “Palav holds the woman responsible for the fact that he is single, and says he could not marry anyone. On many occasions, his friends and even his parents tried to convince him to move on with his life, but he continued to woo her.”

The accused has been booked under section 354 (A), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. The accused has been handed over to the Kanjurmarg police.

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