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Venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy arrested for alleged sexual harassment

Mahesh Murthy

Venture capital investor Mahesh Murthy was on Friday arrested in Mumbai in connection with a molestation case, police said. Murthy later tweeted that he has been released on an anticipatory bail.

In the tweet, Murthy said, “it was a procedural technical arrest” and that he has been released on “surety”. A report in the Hindustan Times which quotes a senior police inspector of Khar police station confirmed the same.

Murthy was booked on 29 December under Section 354 (D), 509 of IPC and under Section 67 of IT Act at Khar Police Station in Mumbai. Section 354 deals with stalking and Section 509 deals with outraging the modesty of a woman. Section 67 of the IT Act deals with transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The case had been registered following 32-year-old woman’s complaint and the intervention of the National Commission of Women (NCW).

“Even though Shri Murthy had allegedly, already posted an apology for some of his posts, NCW requested the DGP’s (Maharashtra police) personal involvement to investigate the matter and take strict action…. as such acts not only amount to outraging the modesty of women but also attract attention for cybercrime,” the NCW had said in a note to the press.

A woman filed a complaint against Murthy last year. NCW took up the issue with the Director General of Police, Maharashtra pointing out “objectionable, derogatory, sexual and obscene signs on social media”. As per a press note put out by them on November 17, they requested the DGP’s personal involvement to investigate the matter and demanded strict action against the accused.

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Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct

Back in February 2017, in a post on Medium titled “The confessions of a serial offender”, Murthy attempted to justify and apologize for his behaviour. The comments section showed mixed reactions from readers.

While in April, FactorDaily put out a detailed report mentioning multiple women who had accused the venture capitalist of sexual misconduct. The allegations dated back to 2003.

Murthy’s founding partners at venture capital fund Seedfund had told FactorDaily they do not endorse or condone the alleged behaviour and added that there were at least two instances when the fund’s LPs (limited partners) asked about allegations against Murthy.

Specific instances mentioned in the report included a government official who shared screenshots from a WhatsApp conversation with Murthy, about a Mumbai woman who was 19 when she was allegedly harassed and an American citizen who was residing in Mumbai.

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Writes about consumer technology, social media, digital services and tech policy. Is a gadget freak, gamer and Star Wars nerd.

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