Four More Women Have Come Forward With Accusations Of Sexual Harassment Against Mumbai-Based Angel Investor Mahesh Murthy, The National Commission For Women (NCW) Said On Friday

 

Feb 23 –

Four more women have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against Mumbai-based Angel investor Mahesh Murthy, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said on Friday.

The accused, who is co-founder of venture capital firm Seedfund, was arrested on February 9 after a Delhi-based woman filed a complaint with the NCW. The commission has forwarded all four complaints received this week to the Mumbai Director General of Police and directed the police to press serious charges against Murthy if the complaints are found to be true.

Following the NCW’s intervention and the ongoing investigation by Maharashtra Police, more women have felt empowered to speak out and share their own stories with the commission, it said. The four women include a Mumbai-based complainant who visited the NCW and met Chairperson Rekha Sharma to submit a formal written complaint this week. Among the complaints is a journalist and a senior government officer.

According to the NCW, one of the complainants in her complaint claimed that Murthy, on the eve of Diwali in 2016, sent her an offensive and explicit text. Another complainant detailed an incident in which Murthy molested her in a coffee shop in Taj Land’s End, Mumbai. “In her complaint, she described her harrowing experience, includinng kissing, groping and offer to buy lingerie,” the commission said. “Another woman wrote to the NCW about an incident wherein Murthy locked himself in his office with the complainant after which he proceeded to molest her,” said a statement by the Commission.

The NCW said the victim said the incident occurred even though four to five young employees of Murthy were present on the opposite side of the door.

“Based on all the complaints received so far, NCW has observed a pattern of behavior wherein Mahesh Murthy lures young woman to coffee shops or public spaces on the pretext of business meeting or promising to fund their start-up projects and makes verbal and physical sexual advances and sexually coloured remarks,” the women’s rights panel said.

 

 

NCW tweet stated

 

 

Earlier this month ,  Mahesh Murthy was granted anticipatory bail after being arrested on charges of sexually harassing a woman based in Delhi and using obscene language while communicating with her on WhatsApp.

He was granted anticipatory bail last week by a sessions court, which had ordered Murthy be released on executing a surety of Rs15,000 in the event of an arrest.

 

The 52 year-old Murthy is a Engineering drop out and started his career as a salesman for Eureka Forbes before moving on to become the country head at Channel V in 1999.

As an investor he has helped several smaller startups by providing then seedfund through his early-stage investment firm Seedfund along with Bharati Jacob and Pravin Gandhi.

Murthy rose to fame following his exit from RedBus in 2013 where he is understood to have made his millions. He has also invested in startups such as CarWale, Afaqs, News Laundary, Chumbak, Doolaly amongst others.

Past accusations

Last year, a woman author had accused Murthy of sexually harassing her 13 years ago, which he had denied as “absolute and complete lies”.

The author, who made the allegations ahead of her book launch, said she had not filed a police complaint against the sexual advances Murthy had allegedly made to her in a café in 2004.

In another case, a central government lady officer had alleged that Murthy had reached out to her for professional advice last year, and then, around Diwali, sent her inappropriate text messages.

In 2013, a USA national had made a similar allegation dating back to the time she had met Murthy in a coffee shop in Mumbai. She had posted that Murthy repeatedly brought up the topic of sex during their conversation, and tried to touch her several times.

A student of SIES College, too, had written about her experience with Murthy on social media. She had said Murthy behaved inappropriately with her, both physically and verbally, during a meeting at Taj Land’s End hotel in Bandra in 2003.

 

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