Shop owner thrashes, detains employees for refusing to 'co-operate'

Two workers from luxury audio-visual shop accuse its owner and firm’s national head for assaulting, abusing them for refusing to file false complaint against floor manager 

Miffed over presumptions that two of their employees were offering services to their clients, the owner of Mihaus, Dr Naveen Rao and firm’s national head Charu Makin assaulted and detained the duo for two days last week. The luxury audio-visual shop is located on G8 and G9 at Grand Hyatt in Vakola. 

Bruised and battered: Nitin Joshi (second from left), Manoj Lokhande, Shekhar Patil outside Vakola police station 

The victims Nitin Joshi (29) and Shekhar Patil (30) alleged that they were tortured for refusing to file a false complaint against floor manager Manoj Lokhande on Rao, an NRI from Russia, and Makin’s behest. They even claimed that Rao and Makin tried to lure them by promising that their salaries would be doubled if they helped them implicate Lokhande for swindling money from company’s account. While Joshi works as an equipment installer, Patil is a senior engineer at the shop. The duo has been working for the company for over seven years now.

Joshi said, “They were behaving rudely on the morning of March 6. First they called Lokhande inside their cabin, and after a while we could hear them arguing. They then came out, and started abusing Patil and me. They even accused us of providing private services to their clients, thus causing loss to the company.”

Patil said Rao asked him to come inside, as he wanted to talk. “The moment I stepped inside the cabin, he started assaulting me with a rod. I begged him to pardon me, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. My legs were bruised badly in the attack. Even now I’m limping.”

Joshi alleged that Rao used the same rod to assault him as well. “While Rao was beating us, Makin kept abusing. I’m a heart patient and have undergone an angiography. When I was begging for water, Rao asked one of the office boys to give me boiling water to drink.”

The duo alleged that after the assault was over, they were locked inside a room and were let out only after 9 pm.

Lokhande said, “My wife had delivered a baby on that day, despite that he made me sit in the office till late. Rao even tried to assault me with the same rod in the afternoon.”

The next day when Joshi and Patil reported to work, Rao and Makin once again pressurised them to file a complaint against Lokhande.

Joshi said, “They forcefully took our signs on a blank paper and once again locked us inside the room. We somehow managed to sneak out, after they left, in the evening and went straight to Vakola police station to register a case.

There are CCTV cameras in the shop, but Rao took away their hard disks.”

The other side
Speaking over the phone, Rao said, “Lokhande has swindled money to the tune of several lakhs. The two employees are taking his side. All three are part of the conspiracy against us of which Lokhande is the mastermind. All allegations levelled against us are baseless. Neither I hit them nor I’m hiding. Currently I’m in Mumbai. They lodged an FIR to implicate us falsely.” 

Senior Inspector Vinayak Mulay from Vakola police station said, “We have registered a case against Rao and Makin under sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention). Arrests are yet to be made.”  

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