26-year-old scared that producer will return to attack her

Published: 09 November, 2012 07:25 IST | A Correspondent |

Chemical attack victim didn't step out of the hospital until her friends went out and scoured the area; he had attacked her on Wednesday, snatched her phone away and locked her up

Twenty-six-year old physiotherapist and international cyclist Aryanka Hosbetkar is still haunted by the fear that her formerlover will return to attack her. The Worli resident was discharged from hospital yesterday. She was admitted there after producer Jerrit John allegedly flung a chemical at her face on Wednesday.

Police sources revealed that the traumatised woman appeared scared to step out of the hospital. A few of her friends had to step outside the hospital to check if John was lurking outside, and came back to assure Hosbetkar that she was safe. Only after this did she agree to step out.

Accused: Jerrit John

This is reportedly not the first time she was assaulted by John, who is a producer and director, and owns the ‘No Nonsense’ production house. He has allegedly assaulted Hosbetkar in the past as well.

John was allegedly involved in an adulterous relationship with Hosbetkar. 10 months into the relationship, Hosbetkar came to know that John is a married man with a five-year-old son. What’s more, she also learnt that he was having affairs with others as well.

A source from Dadar police station said that 45-year-old John cycles regularly, mostly in central Mumbai. He met Hosbetkar through a cyclists’ group on a social networking site a year ago. They would often go on cycling trips. They were even were part of the city’s first bicycle flash mob organised at Bandra in May.

The victim’s neighbour said that for the past several months, John was a regular visitor to the building in Adarsh Nagar where Hosbetkar lived. He would sometimes come on his cycle, but mostly paid visits on a jeep with big headlights. John was often seen dropping off Hosbetkar at her home, in his jeep.

The relationship soured when Hosbetkar came to know that John is a married man with a five-year-old son. His family stays in Kharghar. The police have formed two teams to trace the accused. They visited his Kharghar residence thrice but didn’t find him. They even paid a visit to his Carter Road office, only to find it shut down.

A visit to his younger brother’s home in Khar Danda, didn’t yield any results either. Since the attack, John has blocked all profiles on different social networking sites, even to his friends. His mobile phone is also switched off. Samples of the chemical have been sent to the forensic lab in Kalina for examination.

Senior PI Prakash Patil said, “John is constantly changing his location. He sometimes switches on his phone but switches it off immediately afterwards. His last location was traced to Khar Danda at his younger brother’s place, where we laid a trap. But he escaped.”

“He is a very good cyclist. He has worked with Bollywood personalities and has a good network in the film industry,” said a friend, on condition of anonymity.

Prime eyewitness in the case Shami Shethi, who was also injured in the incident said, “I am very shocked by the incident. I have just been discharged from the hospital and am not well. I cannot say anything more about the incident.”

The police have booked John for causing grievous injury, and also for theft and wrongful confinement, as he allegedly snatched away Hosbetkar’s phone and locked her up after attacking her. 

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