In a distressing turn of events, Sayyed Mohammad Reza Ahmad Dekhanpur, the owner of the renowned Irani Cafe, has been taken into police custody following allegations of mental and physical harassment made by his wife. She claims that her husband’s abusive behavior has been instigated by the daughter of a prominent city-based builder.
Furthermore, the wife has accused Dekhanpur of demanding a staggering amount of Rs 9 crore from her in exchange for custody of their son. Acting upon the complaint filed by the 36-year-old woman, the Wanowrie police made the arrest on Monday night. Senior police inspector Bhausaheb Patare of the Wanowrie police station confirmed the arrest and stated that Dekhanpur was produced in court, which subsequently remanded him into three-day police custody. The complainant has also accused Richa Bhansali-Agarwal of subjecting her to torture and harassment. While Bhansali-Agarwal is currently evading authorities, the police are actively searching for her while further investigating the case.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), the complainant alleges that Dekhanpur demanded the exorbitant sum of Rs 9 crore to relinquish custody of their 13-year-old son. She has also accused Bhansali-Agarwal, the daughter of a developer, of making threats and causing physical harm.
The FIR reveals distressing details of the alleged abuse, stating, “Dekhanpur would confine me in a room for two to three days without food and subject me to brutal beatings. I contemplated suicide but worried about my son. I attempted to reach a compromise and resolve the dispute amicably through the Iran consulate in Mumbai, but during counseling, Dekhanpur seized my son’s passport and other documents. In March 2023, I lodged a complaint with the Wanowrie police station; they summoned Dekhanpur. Angered by the complaint, Dekhanpur returned home and brutally assaulted me.”
The complainant further revealed that she refrained from disclosing the incidents due to fear of defamation. In May 2023, she received a notice from the family court, which informed her about Dekhanpur’s petition for custody of their son. Allegedly, Dekhanpur demanded Rs 9 crore from her to withdraw the custody petition through his lawyer. Consequently, with the support of her father, the complainant lodged a complaint with the Wanowrie police.
The complainant married Dekhanpur in 2004 in Iran and subsequently moved to Pune. In January 2021, the couple attended yoga classes in Koregaon Park, where they befriended Bhansali-Agarwal. They would socialize together and even go on treks as a group.
The dentist alleged that since befriending the builder’s daughter, her husband’s behavior changed dramatically, and he began treating her cruelly. In December, she reportedly discovered objectionable mobile chats between Dekhanpur and Bhansali-Agarwal. When she asked Bhansali-Agarwal to stay away from her husband, she allegedly responded with verbal abuse. The victim further claimed that Bhansali-Agarwal sent explicit pictures of herself with Dekhanpur to her email and Instagram accounts.
The Wanowrie police have booked both Dekhanpur and Bhansali-Agarwal under Sections 498 (A) (husband or relative of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with the intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 107 (abetment), and 112 (abetment of an offense) of the Indian Penal Code.
It is now up to the legal system to thoroughly investigate the allegations and ensure that justice is served for the victim. Such cases of domestic cruelty are deeply concerning and highlight the importance of addressing issues related to gender-based violence and providing support to those who are subjected to such abuse.