Prominent angel investor, co-founder of venture capital firm Seedfund and Linkedin star Mahesh Murthy has been arrested in connection with a sexual harassment case. The Mumbai police have arrested Murthy under sections of the Indian Penal Code related to outraging the modesty of women and sending sexually explicit text messages.
The arrest was made after National Commission for Women forced Mumbai police to take action against Murthy as the panel had received complaints from several women about Murthy's misbehaviour. Earlier in a tweet, the National Commission for Women informed that the arrest had been made based on a complaint that a woman had filed with the panel.
Based on a complaint filed at the Commission and following NCW's successful intervention, #MaheshMurthy has been arrested by @MumbaiPolice today u/Sec 354 IPC read with 67A of IT Act. @sharmarekha @MinistryWCD
— NCW (@NCWIndia) February 9, 2018
According to reports, several women have complained to the Police and NCW about Murthy's misbehaviour. He was initially booked in the last week of December after a woman claimed that the Murthy had stalked her, apart from making objectionable, derogatory and sexual remarks and obscene signs.
Murthy who is one of the most popular seed fund investor in India faced a string of sexual harassment allegations. In fact, online news portals such as FactorDaily and YourStory had covered the stories in detail in which a number of women recounted his sexual misconduct but it could not get the prominence, it should have. Many of the victims have been journalists or women who have met Murthy either for an interview or with a pitch of business ideas.
Swati Pandey, who is now a Reuters journalist in Sydney, was one such journalist, she tweeted after the news of the arrest came out, “I am no longer ashamed of what I went through. The shame is Murthy's.” Like Swati, many other women had similar fate with Murthy. In a long and detailed post on Medium, Murthy had denied all allegation stating that they all are “complete lies.”
2018 couldn't have started on a better note. So called “star investor” Mahesh Murthy is behind bars. Women can achieve so much if they come together. Special thanks to Pooja who took it up with the @NCWIndia https://t.co/pjV4n1nfUR #metoo https://t.co/YZ8UbW6hcZ
— Swati Pandey (@Swatisays) February 9, 2018
A woman named Sonam Mahajan tweeted “Finally! Mahesh Murthy goes to jail. Like many others, I'd my own story to tell but was too scared to take on him back then. By the time, the fear vanished, I was married so didn't wanna open a can of worms. I applaud the woman who didn't get scared. Thank you. A big thank you.”
Finally! Mahesh Murthy goes to jail.
Like many others, I'd my own story to tell but was too scared to take on him back then. By the time, the fear vanished, I was married so didn't wanna open a can of worms.
I applaud the woman who didn't get scared. Thank you. A big thank you.
— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) February 9, 2018
On his arrest, Murthy tweeted, “This is the same issue on which I had filed a case & and where the High Court has already passed an interim order in my favour & against the complainant back in April 2017. This is an attempt to counter-sue. I will fight this too in court to defend my reputation.”
He said that the court has granted him anticipatory bail in this case. “I am told it was a procedural technical arrest and I have already been released on surety,” tweeted Murthy.
To all: the hon'ble court granted me anticipatory bail in this case some time ago. I am told it was a procedural technical arrest and I have already been released on surety.
— Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) February 9, 2018
In this continuous saga of sexual harassment, Murthy is not alone. In fact, 2017 was marked by similar cases against Arunabh Kumar, the founder of media production firm The Viral Fever Media Labs, and Suparn Pandey, co-founder of news website ScoopWhoop.