Guwahati: New Delhi-based Kashmiri businessman Sahil Zaroo, who was arrested last month for raping and threatening a young professional from Northeast India, was slated for a bail hearing on Thursday. The hearing was later postponed to September 29.
The incident allegedly happened on August 16, after which Zaroo reportedly fled to Srinagar. He was, however, arrested by the Delhi Police in record 24 hours after the survivor lodged an FIR on August 18.
“The accused Sahil Zaroo was arrested by Delhi Police from Jammu and Kashmir within 24 hours of the complaint. He is in judicial custody and his bail hearing was fixed on September 22, which got postponed to September 23,” Additional Commissioner of Delhi Police Hibu Tamang told EastMojo.
The accused reportedly drugged the girl after a party in South Delhi, when she lost consciousness and fell prey to the heinous crime.
The survivor allegedly told Zaroo that she worked as cabin crew with an airline, after which Zaroo allegedly offered her a job in his private charter flight service. Despite having refused, Zaroo allegedly insisted that the girl take the job offer, with accommodation at his private penthouse. He forced her to stay back after the party to show her his penthouse, according to an FIR filed by the survivor.
The survivor was then drugged, after which she fell unconscious and woke up to find herself in different clothes with her undergarments missing. She was reportedly sick all day and it was not until she fully regained consciousness that she found out that something terrible had happened with her, the survivor reported to the police.
The survivor registered an FIR against Sahil Zaroo vide FIR No. 252/21 under section 376 and 328 IPC, on August 18, 2021. Zaroo then contacted her through WhatsApp and threatened to send the cops for narcotic tests and put her behind bars. Sources close to the case alleged he was confident that her blood test results would show a presence of drugs, since Zaroo had drugged the victim.
Zaroo also reportedly offered the survivor money and kept trying to persuade her to settle the matter and to take the case back. The survivor’s flat mates and common friends with Zaroo have reportedly been giving him information about the survivor’s whereabouts, said a statement to the cops submitted by a friend who was also at the Greater Kailash party.
The survivor is being given protection by the Special Unit For Northeast Region (SPUNER) Delhi Police whenever they step out.
EastMojo reached out to Delhi Police’s Special Police Unit for North-Eastern Region for further details on the case. “A case has been registered against the accused (Sahil Zaroo) and the girls have been given protection by the police,” an officer of the unit told EastMojo on the condition of anonymity.
“We cannot give out any more details as this is a very sensitive issue,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, Sahil Zaroo’s wife Saima Majid filed a counter-complaint against the girl after Zaroo’s arrest, accusing the survivor of blackmailing, extortion and honey trapping. Majid lodged a complaint with the SHO, Greater Kailash on August 30, alleging that the survivor lied to her husband and cheated him for money.
Zaroo: Chequered past, dubious claims
This is not the first time Zaroo has come under the scrutiny of the police. As early as 2006, Sahil Zaroo was involved in the famous NDPS case of Rahul Mahajan which was registered at the Tughlak Road Police Station.
He was also questioned in the NIA case related to “Hawala Money” in connection with DSP Davinder Singh, J&K Police. Another case vide FIR 32/2008 under sections 232, 354, 427, 506, 509, 541, 389 of the IPC was registered against Zaroo for slapping Bollywood actress Sonal Chauhan of Jannat movie fame in 2008.
“This person is well connected and is a habitual offender. He should not get bail. Exemplary action should be taken against such persons. They should be in jail,” said Dr Alana Golmei, a New Delhi-based advocate representing the survivor.
“For us in the Northeast and our young girls, this is not the first time they are going through this. I have been fighting for more than 10 years for justice for our young girls who have come here and worked and who have been sexually assaulted. Whether it is rape or any other offence, they don’t get justice,” said the activist-lawyer on the difficulties faced by women from the Northeast to fight against violation of their rights.
“It is high time that despite the person (accused) being well connected and influential, rape is seen as rape. Whether rich or not, the same treatment must be given to all perpetrators of the crime. Such examples will reduce these kinds of crimes against women from the northeast and other parts of the country,” Dr Golmei added.
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