Four more women file sexual harassment plaints against investor Murthy

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) 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.

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