‘I am scared of the day Jerrit John steps out of jail’

It has been a month since Jerrit John, a film production house owner, threw a corrosive chemical on 26-year-old Arayanka Hosbetkar's face, but she still feels a chill down her spine every time his name is mentioned.

"I have been scarred for life. I am still in trauma," Hosbetkar told Newsline on Saturday.

Since November 10, when John allegedly attacked Hosbetkar after their relationship soured, she has been so gripped with fear that she has confined herself to the house she currently lives in. She does not have the confidence to move out, she said.

"Till John is in jail, I feel safe but I am scared of the day he comes out. My mother and other family members remain tense through the day. I have locked myself in a house and am afraid to even step out," said Hosbetkar.

Hosbetkar, who earlier worked as a physiotherapist, is an international-level cyclist. On the day of the incident, she had returned from a cycling expedition in the morning and was with her friends when John attacked her. The two were facing problems in their 10-month relationship after Hosbetkar came to know that John was married with a five-year-old son, the police said.

Hosbetkar told police that John dragged her upstairs from her first-floor house in Worli and threw the chemical on her face while her shocked mother and friends watched.

Hosbetkar is undergoing treatment. She can, therefore, not begin to look for a job. "My right eye has not healed and my vision is still blurry," said Hosbetkar, adding that the incident had ruined her career.

She said women in the city are no longer safe. "If John has dared to enter my building and attack me, other men could do the same with women like me."

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