Powai Police on Saturday arrested a man pursuing his PhD from IIT-Bombay (IITB) for allegedly stalking a student since 2016. The accused allegedly sent lewd messages to the victim on Facebook. He is accused of doing the same with another girl.
The accused was identified as Vijay Deshmukh (35), a resident of Satara. According to police, the victim, who hails from Rajasthan, has been a student at IIT-B since 2015. In November 2016, she received a message on Facebook from Vijay Deshmukh, asking her to become his friend. Since the victim did not know him, she ignored the message. However, he kept pestering her, the police said.
“As per the victim, groups of four to five students are chosen for practicals. These groups are then guided by professors and those doing Phd from the institute. One Vijay Deshmukh was among those chosen to guide her team. It was only later she realised that he was the same Vijay Deshmukh who used to send her Facebook messages,” an officer said.
“In IIT-Bombay, there is an inhouse email system, which the students use to communicate with each other. The victim alleged that Deshmukh also used it to send her objectionable messages. Later, he opened different accounts on Facebook to get in touch. She blocked all those accounts.
The victim was left shocked when she learned that Deshmukh had her photo-shopped image as his display picture on his account,” said the officer.
Fed up with the harassment, in July last year the victim wrote to IIT’s Women’s Complaint Cell. “An official from the cell then called the victim for a meeting and since Deshmukh’s track record was not good, he was removed from the institute. The official also advised the victim to approach the police. However, the victim was supposed to visit South Korea, through IIT. So she did not file a police complaint then,” the officer said.
In December 2018, when she returned to India, she continued to receive emails from Deshmukh. The victim then approached the police and registered a complaint. A case was filed under Sections 354D (Stalking) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
“We received information that Deshmukh was at his native place in Satara and sent a team to arrest him. We also seized his mobile phone and laptop. On examining Deshmukh’s phone, we found that he had also sent vulgar messages to another girl,” the officer said.
Deshmukh was produced before a local court on Saturday, which remanded him to judicial custody.
Source – Mumbai Mirror