• Mumbai Crime: Number plate led to celebrity planner's stalker's arrest

    Asif RizviMumbaiAug 09, 2017, 18:08 IST

    Accused Nitish Sharma (in blue) in custody for stalking Andheri resident Aditi Nagpaul
    Accused Nitish Sharma (in blue) in custody for stalking Andheri resident Aditi Nagpaul

    Hours after the Amboli police filed a case of stalking based on a complaint by Andheri-based wedding planner and fashion designer Aditi Nagpaul, 38, they zeroed in on the accused last morning via the number plate of his Honda Civic, seen in the photos Nagpaul had clicked from her cellphone. He has been identified as Nitish Sharma, 37, an IT professional.

    Aditi Nagpaul, Andheri resident
    Aditi Nagpaul, Andheri resident

    The Amboli police had launched a hunt for Sharma based on Nagpaul's complaint that he had followed her home in the wee hours of Monday, when she was driving back after dinner with her children and sister, all of whom were in the car with her.

    Number trace
    A police officer said, "Daya Nayak and his team, while investigating, tried to trace the accused based on the car number plate, but soon, realised that an alphabet was missing from it."

    Accused Nitish Sharma seen outside Aditi Nagpaul’s building, waiting in his Honda Civic that had one alphabet in the number plate missing
    Accused Nitish Sharma seen outside Aditi Nagpaul's building, waiting in his Honda Civic that had one alphabet in the number plate missing

    Sources said that when the number's registration didn't show up, it was initially suspected to be a fake one. Later, officers on the case reached out to number plate makers and found that one in Sakinaka had made the accused's. The man from Sakinaka told the police that the actual number was MH 02 BP 2163.

    After getting the complete number, the police traced the address to a building in Malad West and nabbed Sharma from his house.

    Investigation has revealed that Sharma is married but separated from his wife. On Sunday night, he was out for a drive and spotted Nagpaul in Lokhandwala driving back home. That's when he followed her car and reached her building.

    The officer added, "Based on her complaint, we registered a case under section 354 D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code against him. He was produced in court on Tuesday afternoon and sent to police custody."

    Late-night scare
    Nagpaul had also made an appeal on Facebook to trace the accused, uploading the photos she had clicked of him sitting in the car outside her building.

    Speaking to mid-day, she said, "My sister and I had planned a night out with my two children. After an hour-long drive, we came home around 1.30 am. As I was putting my children to bed, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, I saw this man, who appeared to be drunk, standing there. I asked him who he was and how he had landed up outside my house. Without replying, he asked me for some drinking water, saying he was thirsty. I shouted at him and told him there was no water in the house and that he should just leave, after which I immediately shut the door and locked it."

    She told the police that she had called the watchman on the intercom, but there had been no answer. She had then gone back to the door and looked through the peephole, only to find Sharma still standing there. Nagpaul had called out to the watchman from the window, after which he had dragged Sharma out from the premises.

    The next morning, she had lodged an FIR.

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