More than 36 hours after short filmmaker Jerrit John, 44, attacked his friend Aryanka Hosbetkar, a 26-year-old physiotherapist, at her Worli home, the police have not hunted him down.
When a team visited John’s flat in Vashi, it was locked and neighbours said the accused’s wife and five-year-old son had left for her maternal home in Nagpur. The police are now questioning John’s brother.
The Dadar police, which have formed several teams to trace John, said the accused threw a corrosive chemical on Hosbetkar’s face around 5am on Wednesday, a few hours after she and her friends got back to her flat from a cycling trip.
Hosbetkar escaped with minor injuries as the accused aimed poorly because he was in a rush to escape. The chemical also splashed on one of her friends, Sameer Shetty. While Shetty, an estate agent, was treated and discharged soon, Hosbetkar was discharged from Hinduja hospital on Thursday, the police said.
Neighbours said Hosbetkar lives with her mother in Adarsh Nagar, Worli. “The family came home from hospital late last night and left early on Thursday,” a neighbour said.
Doctors said the chemical had gone into one of her eyes, affecting vision. “The family does not want us to divulge details about the injuries,” said Dr Gustad Daver, medical director, Hinduja hospital.
John, who has a studio, No Nonsense, on Carter Road, was an assistant director for the Oscar-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire. He and Hosbetkar met through a cycling community on a social networking site, the police said. “Friends said the duo had been seeing each other for a year. John had told her they would marry after he got a divorce,” Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police (zone 5), said. “But they fought two days ago after Hosbetkar realised he was two-timing her. She had asked John to meet her to sort out the issue.”
A sample of the chemical has been sent to the forensic science laboratory to ascertain its composition.
The police have registered a case against John for causing grievous hurt using dangerous weapons or means, theft of her phone and wrongful confinement.