Days after a woman accused 28-year-old Mumbai-based journalist Varun Hiremath of rape, Delhi Police has issued a lookout circular against him, barring him from leaving the country.
According to police, Hiremath, an anchor with ET Now, has been on the run since February 23 when the FIR was registered against him. Two teams have been sent to Mumbai and Gujarat to arrest him and several raids at different locations have been conducted, police said. Police said his father owns a pharmaceutical company.
DCP (New Delhi district) Dr Eish Singhal said, “We have registered an FIR and are conducting raids to nab him. Further investigation is underway.”
A senior police officer said they had initially tried to call Hiremath for questioning after serving notice to him, but he switched off his phone and became untraceable.
“With the help of technical surveillance, we found his last location was in Gujarat and a team was sent there. The officers also met his associates, who are not aware of his current location. Police are monitoring the activities of his family members and close friends. Fearing that he would leave the country, we opened an LoC on Tuesday,” the officer said.
After lodging an FIR against him, the woman reiterated her allegations in a statement recorded before a magistrate under CrPC Section 164 last week.
The woman in her complaint and her statement before the magistrate has alleged she was raped by Hiremath, who works with an English news channel, at a five-star hotel in Chanakyapuri on February 20.
The FIR states that the woman and Hiremath met at a cafe in Khan Market, from where the accused asked her to come to his hotel room, where multiple incidents of rape, violence and sexual assault allegedly took place.
On the basis of woman’s complaint, an FIR under IPC sections 376 (punishment of offence of rape), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) was registered at Chanakyapuri police station.