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Mumbai: Called in to clear pending dues, man is assaulted and locked up instead

Updated on: 11 June,2024 07:10 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania |

Sales professional manhandled as he didn’t carry company laptop and phone to the meeting

Mumbai: Called in to clear pending dues, man is assaulted and locked up instead

Yash Bhatia took up the job on March 6 and resigned on May 15

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Mumbai: Called in to clear pending dues, man is assaulted and locked up instead

An employee of a construction company was beaten up and locked inside the company office after he left the job and didn't return the company laptop and cell phone provided to him, due to not getting paid. The victim informed his friend who in turn informed the Juhu police and rescued him.

Yash Bhatia, 31, a resident of Bandra, had been working in the sales department of a construction company based in Juhu since March. Speaking to mid-day, Bhatia said, “I started working for Stolen Heaven Resort Lonavala, owned by Mudhit Gupta, on March 6, this year. The company office is located at Vikas Centre, Santacruz West. Gupta appointed me and I would report to him. I had asked for a salary of Rs 1,00,000 per month, as I have been in the industry for 10 years. However, he gave me a counteroffer of Rs 50,000 per month with additional incentives. After I joined, I asked for an appointment letter several times but never got a response. I worked round the clock even though my office timing was from 10 am to 6 pm and would respond to queries at any time of the day.”

According to Bhatia, he also wasn’t reimbursed for expenses incurred when he visited Pune for an official meeting, despite being promised compensation. “I still haven’t received this amount. Also, I wasn’t given any incentives despite achieving more than my targets in the very first month of work. Gupta didn’t hear me nor did he bother to check my incentive sheet. I was denied incentives and told the resort was incurring losses. Despite this, I continued to work because I was promised a review in three months.”

Bhatia continued to work till May 15. He resigned after it was announced that the resort would be managed by some other agency, making his position redundant. “I sent Gupta my resignation and it was accepted so that I could look for a new job immediately. Subsequently, I connected with the company accountant Tejal and told her about my incentives and the salary which I had not received to date. She informed me that a settlement could be done only after Gupta’s instructions. I patiently waited while the company phone and laptop remained with me.”

Bhatia says he was given the devices as he worked in sales and due to his experience and seniority. He said Gupta had asked him to come into the office only when required. “During the course of my employment, I even had a ligament tear in my foot and I was advised to rest. But I still went to office as and when required. I had to use their laptop because I had to make bookings on their site. My personal laptop was not working well so it was under repair,” Bhatia explained. 

On June 6, Bhatia got a call from Tejal, asking him to visit the office within an hour for settlement of his unpaid salary and incentives. “I reached there around 4.30 pm and was made to wait for 45 minutes. I was then called to meet Gupta who asked me for the SIM card. When I told him that I wasn’t carrying it, he became abusive, while his personal security held me down and started hitting me. I was then manhandled, pushed down on the floor and beaten up by more of his staff. They choked me using my own T-shirt and two of his staff members stood on my feet and back. They even tried to snatch away my phone but somehow I held onto it,” Bhatia said.

Meanwhile, Bhatia, with a torn-up t-shirt, was locked in the company office and forced to sit there. “It felt like I had been kidnapped. A lady who I did not know also warned me that I should not leave the office premises without anyone to protect me as their goons were waiting outside the office with hockey sticks to beat me up. I somehow made a call to my friend Hritika and asked her to come with the police.” On arriving, the police found Bhatia locked up with the goons who had assaulted him. “They found me in a very bad state. I had bruises on my body, my t-shirt was torn, and my body was shivering as I was scared for my life. 

I was taken to the police station and the cops asked me to immediately go for a medical check-up. After the medical check-up to record my injuries, I came back and narrated the entire incident to the police and lodged a complaint. However, the officers on duty treated me badly and I was made to sit for five hours,” Bhatia said .

The Juhu police registered an FIR against the company owner Mudhit Gupta and employees—Mewalal Yadav, Mohammad Faisal Gafar Khan, Chintu Giri, Mudhit Gupta and Shashi Yadav—for assaulting Bhatia. No arrests have been made so far. Siddharth Chandrashekhar, advocate, Bombay High Court, said, “ This is a classic case of abuse of money power and influence by a wealthy developer to deny an employee his legitimate dues. Gupta, in an attempt to save himself and his hirelings, also lodged a false counter-complaint (against Bhatia’s) at the Santacruz police station in whose jurisdiction the crime took place.” mid-day tried to contact Mudhit Gupta but he remained unavailable despite repeated calls and messages.

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