‘Husband forced me to accuse son of assault’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Husband forced me to accuse son of assault’

Last July, Tara Sood (56) had accused her 35-year-old son of assaulting her and abducting his stepfather for money.

mumbai Updated: Jan 04, 2010 01:11 IST
Megha Sood

Last July, Tara Sood (56) had accused her 35-year-old son of assaulting her and abducting his stepfather for money.

Last month, she did a U-turn, and told a court in Dindoshi that her son had not done any of those things, and that she had made the accusations under pressure from her husband, who was trying to frame her son, whom he owed money. On Friday, she spoke to Hindustan Times and explained her son’s innocence.

In her first police statement, Tara had claimed her son from her previous marriage, Mikhail Zhaveri, had come to the Dindoshi flat where she lives with her husband Pradeep Sood (60), and demanded Rs 3 lakh.

Quoting from that first statement, Dindoshi police station’s Senior Police Inspector Vinayak Kakade said: “Mikhail had kicked and punched his mother and assaulted his stepfather. He then smashed the television set, electronic appliances and furniture, turned on the gas stove in the kitchen and threatened to burn the house.”

After snatching his mother’s cellphone and locking her at home, Mikhail had allegedly phoned Pradeep’s sister, Mridula Maluste, a resident of Malabar Hill, and told her to keep the money ready, threatening to kill Pradeep if she did not pay up. He then brandished an air gun, forced Pradeep into their car and ordered him to drive to Maluste’s house.

When the two reached the house, the police arrested Mikhail.

On Friday, Tara said the entire sequence of events described in her police statement was fabricated by the police. She said Mikhail had not assaulted her, and had peacefully asked Pradeep for money because the cheques that Pradeep had given him — for money he owed Mikhail — had bounced.

“Mikhail had packed his bags and was leaving the house because of mental torture by Pradeep since age 14. He asked for the money but Pradeep refused and abused him,” Sood said.

“Mikhail then told Pradeep to get the money from his sister and asked me to call her, which I did. When my sister-in-law asked me if I was being held hostage, I denied it. Pradeep then voluntarily agreed to go to his sister’s house and give Mikhail the cash,” Sood said.

Suffering from acute abscess in both her legs, Sood said Mik-hail could not have assaulted her, as someone with her condition would have been dead if assaulted in the manner first alleged.