Sunday, November 11, 2012

Man behind chemical attack held on Nalasopara hotel tip-off

John at the Dadar police station

Mateen Hafeez & Sandhya Nair TNN

Mumbai: Film professional Jerrit John, 46, who was absconding after allegedly throwing a hazardous chemical on the face of Aryanka Hozbetkar at her Worli home, was nabbed by the Nalasopara police three days later on Saturday. He was hiding in a Nalasopara hotel and cops, tipped off by the staff, were able to identify him 
because he checked in with his real name and PAN and credit card details.
    The Vashi resident who runs a production house was brought to the Dadar police station in the evening and arrested for Wednesday’s attack.
Owns production house No Nonsense. Creative consultant for MTV, UTV, Excel Entertainment
On the run after throwing chemical on Aryanka Hozbetkar, 26, early on Nov 7
They had a relationship, but Hozbetkar had broken up
John came to her Worli home around 5am, threw chemical

Chemical used in Worli attack was bought for 100 at Masjid Bunder

Absconding Film Professional Hid In A Valsad Hotel Before Coming To Nalasopara, Say Dadar Police
    Film production house owner Jerrit John, 46, who is accused of hurling a chemical at physiotherapist Aryanka Hozbetkar, 26, purchased the chemical for Rs 100 from a Masjid Bunder shop, according to deputy commissioner of police Dhananjay Kulkarni. 

    John reportedly told the police that chemicals are used in his work at the film production house and he bought additional chemicals during his last purchase.   He used one of them on Hozbetkar, who he had met on a cycling trip 10 months ago. Vashi resident John, who is married with a son, and Worli rresident Hozbetkar had got into a relationship which soured a month-and-a-half ago. 

    John was nabbed in Nalasopara and brought to the Dadar police station on Saturday evening. He was dressed casually in a T-shirt, threefourth pants and a cap. When media persons tried talking to him, he gave them the finger.
    “We still don’t know the identity of the chemical he used on Wednesday and are waiting for the analysis,” said Kulkarni. “Some sections invoked against John may be changed, or new sections added, if it is found he had planned something very harmful.” A police team will visit the shop.
    John was carrying the chemical in his car even during his first altercation with Hozbetkar after midnight on Tuesday, police said. Police said that after hurling the chemical on Wednesday morning, John first went to his Bandra office. He later hid in a hotel at Valsad in Gujarat before finally coming to Nalasopara. “John hid Hozbetkar’s stolen mobile at his Bandra office, which we will recover soon,” said an officer.
    After Wednesday’s attack, the Dadar police, who had been tracking his cell, traced him on Friday to the Mira Road area, but couldn’t locate him. Early Friday morning, John reportedly switched off his phone and travelled to Nalasopara in an auto. He asked the driver about hotels and was taken to Manthan Hotel, a 20-room, hotel-cum-restaurant in Laxmi Chedda Marg, Nalasopara (W). Hotel manager Shivram Shetty said, “John checked in at around 2.30am on Friday. We took his PAN and credit card details and allotted him a room on the first floor.”
    John was wearing a T-shirt and jeans and didn’t look suspicious, hotel sources said. He was carrying a suitcase and checked into Room 108, where he was provided water, soap and a towel. On Friday morning, he had tea and ordered a dosa from a nearly restaurant, but remained inside his room. He had tea in the evening and for meals had palak paneer, mixed vegetables and roti. He did not order liquor and didn’t have any visitors, said Shetty.
    On Saturday morning, the hotel’s waiters, most of them from Karnataka, recognized his photo in the newspaper Karnakata Malla.   “The PAN card photo matched the one in the newspaper,” said receptionist Vishwanath Shetty. He informed the manager, who then alerted the hotel’s owner Harish Shetty. Harish said, “I first crosschecked his details with the PAN card copy. The photograph matched. After being convinced, we called the Nalasopara police.” 

    Even as the hotel staff were checking his credentials, John ordered tea and dosa from a nearby hotel. The hotel also collected Rs 450 as rent for the second day. Room boys said John remained in his room watching TV and did not appear tense or worried.

    The Nalasopara police arrived at the hotel at around 11.30 am. John opened the door after a room boy called out. The police questioned him in the hotel before taking him to the Nalasopara police station. Additional superintendent of police, Thane Rural, Sangramsinh Nishandar, said, “John gave his real identity at the hotel. That is how it became easier to identity him.” John’s suitcase had his clothes, toothbrush and a shaving kit.
    Police sources said John may have been planning to file for anticipatory bail. He had been reading newspapers and was keeping tabs on his case, said an officer. He has parked his vehicle in Nalasopara and police teams have left to seize it. The police will be questioning the Borivili woman who John tried to also attack on Wednesday. She is learnt to have filed an NC with the Borivili police.
    John is the owner of the No Nonsense production house. Hozbetkar had returned from a cycling expedition late on Tuesday and was with friends when John argued with her. He left after snatching one of her mobile phones. The phone had threatening SMSes he had sent her. He returned early on Wednesday morning and allegedly flung the chemical at her even as her shocked friends watched.
    The two were in a relationship since December 19, 2011. John had himself been married for six years and has a five-year-old son. On October 31, Hozbetkar reportedly sent an email to John ending their relationship. John tried to convince her that he had applied for divorce.
    John is currently charged with causing grievous hurt using dangerous means, theft and wrongful confinement. More charges could be added, say police.  When contacted for comments, Hozbetkar’s mother Aarti refused saying, “Sorry, we are not in a proper frame of mind.”
    Does production house owner and chemical attack accused Jerrit John belong to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena? Sources said that among the identities he showed to check in to Manthan Hotel was an MNS card (pictured far left) from Vashi. However, MNS spokesperson Vageesh Saraswat said the party isn’t aware of John’s membership. “No political party has a system to scrutinise every member. Also, the party doesn’t ask its cadre to indulge in any kind of criminal activity. Hence, one cannot link the act of the accused with the party. We have nothing to do with the offence,” said Saraswat. TNN


1 Jerrit John checks into a Nalasopara hotel on Friday at 2.30am. He gives his real name and PAN details

2 He is allotted Room 108 and moves in with a suitcase containing clothes, a toothbrush and shaving kit

3 He stays in the room on Friday, has tea and dosa, and for meals palak paneer, mixed vegetables and roti

4 On Saturday morning, the waiters recognize a photo of him in the Karnataka Malla newspaper

5 An oblivious John orders has breakfast and watches TV. At 11.30am, the police come to his door

HOTEL HIDEOUT: Jerrit John hid at Manthan Hotel, Nalasopara (W), where receptionist Vishwanath Shetty (pink shirt) and manager Shivram Shetty helped identify him. 

The Times of India, November 11, 2012

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