Jerrit John takes cops on wild goose chase in Masjid Bunder

After 2 hours of search, says he doesn't remember chemical dealer's location

Film production firm owner Jerrit John (46), arrested for allegedly throwing a corrosive chemical at a physiotherapist's face, took police on a wild goose chase in the bylanes of Masjid Bunder on Tuesday. John had told Dadar police that he had bought the chemical from a dealer in the area.

For more than two hours, the police team sifted the area to locate the dealer. However, John finally told them that he did not remember the exact location. Officers said they suspected John was only stalling the probe till his police custody was exhausted, following which he could apply for bail.

"We know that John is lying and trying to misguide us. However, we are trying to locate the dealer," said an officer.

During interrogation, John had told police that the shop was located near a mosque in the area. The police took him to the spot accordingly. However, there was no such shop in the area, said officers.

John then allegedly gave the officers a description of the shutter of the shop. The police attempted to identify the shop on the basis of this information, but to no avail.

"For the next two hours, he took us to several bylanes but we did not find any shop matching the description," said the officer. Police said they would question John and take him to Masjid Bunder again on Wednesday.

On Monday, John told police officers that he had parked his SUV near the Bhayander railway station. He had used the car to reach the victim's Worli residence and then flee from the spot before heading to Valsad so that he could hide until his lawyer applied for anticipatory bail. The police were yet to recover the SUV.

"We have to send the team to recover the car," said the officer. The police are also trying to recover a mobile phone that John had allegedly snatched from the victim, Aryanka Hosbetkar, before he threw the chemical on her near her Worli residence.

Police officers said after attacking Hosbetkar, John went to his office at Chuim Village in Khar Danda and erased the CCTV footage there. "John had left Hosbetkar's mobile phone at his office," said an officer.

John allegedly told cops that Hosbetkar had dumped him, and he wanted to get even.

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