Electronics City Police discovered on Tuesday, 16 March, that Hitesha Chandranee, the alleged victim who accused a Zomato delivery boy, Kamaraj of assault, has left Bengaluru.
This comes a day after Kamaraj filed a counter FIR against Chandranee for allegedly hitting him with slippers and abusing him repeatedly for the delayed delivery of her food order.
“We called Hitesha to appear before the investigating officer for questioning, after Kamaraj filed a case of assault against her. But she said she had left the city and is at her aunt’s house in Maharashtra,” Electronics City Police said to The New Indian Express.
The report added that the police has given her time to make her statement once she returns, following which the investigation will continue. The officer noted that she will be arrested if she fails to appear before the police.
The first FIR was registered on 10 March based on a complaint given by Chandranee.
In the second FIR, which Kamaraj had lodged, the police has booked Chandranee under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 341 (wrongful restraint), 355 (assault or criminal force), 504 (intentional insult), and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Following the lodging of Kamaraj’s complaint, Chandranee’s home address was leaked on the internet. Chandranee had safety concerns, since the case has sparked several debates on social media, with support for Kamaraj and the plight of other delivery boys during the pandemic.
“She feels afraid staying here as people might come to her home to speak to her about the FIR,” said a police offer to The News Minute, noting that the leak of her postal address compromised her safety and privacy.
In a video posted on Instagram, the Bengaluru-based content creator and makeup artist had alleged that she was assaulted by a delivery executive on 9 March after an altercation over a delayed food delivery.
In the video, she was seen with a bloody gash on her nose, alleging that the delivery executive attacked her after she confronted him over the delay. She further added that the delivery executive barged into her home and abused her.
According to the video posted by her, she placed an order at 3.30 pm which was supposed to be delivered by 4.30 pm, but since she did not receive her order on time, she got in touch with Zomato’s customer support asking them to either waive off the charges for the order or cancel the order.
When the delivery executive arrived, she asked him to wait as she was speaking to a customer care representative, which is when she says he started abusing her.
Zomato had suspended the executive till the time the investigation wasn't complete, but were supporting him legally with the expenses of the case. They were also helping Chandranee with her costs, including medical care.
During investigation, Kamaraj had stated that Chandranee was the one who attacked him with slippers, accused him of defaming her, and abused him.
Chandranee had deleted the video from her Twitter account after Bengaluru Police had arrested Kamaraj in the case.
(With inputs from The New Indian Express and The News Minute)