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Mumbai crime: Cops nab cook who forced house help to give him a hug

The 31-year-old had hidden the woman’s important documents and told her he would give them back to her in exchange for a hug; he then forcibly pulled her onto him when she asked for her belongings

A cook employed by a prominent business family at their Cuffe Parade residence allegedly molested a female help. His uncouth behaviour got him arrested by the Cuffe Parade police.

The accused who stays in the domestic help quarters on the 19th floor, came from behind and forcibly pulled the maid towards him. File pic
The accused who stays in the domestic help quarters on the 19th floor, came from behind and forcibly pulled the maid towards him. File pic

According to the police, the 34-year-old victim and the cook work with the Hiremath family at their Maker Tower residence. Sugandha Hiremath, of pharma company Hikal Ltd, and daughter of Neelkanth Kalyani of the Kalyani group, employed the duo.

The help stays in the Ambedkar Nagar slums, which caught fire in November last year. Fearing that the shanties may be gutted in a fire again, the 34-year-old had kept her documents PAN card, voter’s ID card, birth certificates and jewellery with her employer, informed a police officer from the Cuffe Parade police station.

On April 13, she found that her documents were missing. The cook, Dinesh Ramcharan Thakur (31), approached her and allegedly told her he could get her belongings back if she gave him a ‘jaadoo ki jhappi’ (a term used for a hug, inspired by the Bollywood film Munnabhai MBBS).

When the victim informed their employer, she was told to ignore the cook and carry on. The employer later went out of town. Some days later, when the help required her documents to cast her vote in the Lok Sabha elections, she searched for her papers again, but was unable to find them.

That is when the accused, who stays in the domestic help quarters on the 19th floor, came from behind and forcibly pulled her in towards him.“The victim then narrated the incident to her employer, who then brought her to us.

We registered a case under sections 354A (sexual harassment), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman),” said the police officer. Thakur was arrested on Saturday and will be produced in court today.

The magical hug
In the 2003 comedy film Munnabhai MBBS, Sanjay Dutt, who plays the protagonist’s role, transforms people around him with a ‘jaadoo ki jhappi’ or a magical hug. The hug is meant as a display of compassion towards people who are in need of it.

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