A seven-month-long ordeal for a dentist in Khar ended on Saturday with the arrest of two extortionists, who had threatened to ensnare him for soliciting sex and forced him to pay Rs 90,000 on the pretext of not reporting him to the police.
The two have been identified as Megha Tashu (37) and Mahesh Suryavanshi (32).
The dentist, who is 50 years old, and practices in Khar West, told the police that his nightmare began in December 2018, when Tashu visited his clinic to get her teeth cleaned.
Tashu, the dentist alleged, inquired how much it would cost to get a gap between two teeth filled. When the dentist informed her that he would charge between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000, she is alleged to have told him, “I’ll take care of you if you take care of me.”
The dentist did not hear from her until the next month, when Tashu sent him a text message asking if she could send a patient to his clinic. The police said that when the dentist replied in the affirmative, the woman sent him a picture of a girl no older than 20 years old. However, when she sent a few more pictures of the same girl, the dentist suspected that she was involved in a prostitution ring.
He told the police that he had deleted the conversation and the pictures. No such patient ever turned up at the clinic.
Expecting to have put the episode behind him, the dentist was surprised when a middle-aged woman visited his clinic in the first week of June, accompanied by a younger woman, who she said was her daughter.
The police said the older woman claimed that the dentist had received her daughter’s pictures on his phone and as a result, her reputation had been tarnished. She asked to be paid Rs 5,000 in exchange for not complaining to the police. Though the dentist maintained that he had received pictures of a different woman on his phone, he still paid up.
A week later, a man, Mahesh Suryavanshi (32), who identified himself as the girl’s father, came to the clinic and demanded Rs 30,000, claiming that the doctor’s actions had ruined his daughter’s chances of finding a groom. Afraid of being taken to the police, the dentist again paid up.
In the third week of June, Suryavanshi contacted the dentist again, this time asking for Rs 25,000 to meet medical expenses of his daughter. Even as the dentist protested his innocence, the threat of a criminal complaint forced him to cough up the money, the police said.
In the last week of June, Tashu visited the dentist’s clinic and demanded Rs 50,000 to not drag him to the police. The dentist allegedly
negotiated the amount down to Rs 30,000.
The extortionists, however, continued to harass him with repeated phone calls from July 1. The police said that on July 5, Suryavanshi blamed the dentist for posting his daughter’s picture on Facebook and demanded to be paid Rs 50,000.
The dentist, who up until then had kept the ordeal a secret from his family, lodged a complaint at Khar police station. The police laid a trap for the extortionists and advised the dentist to call Suryavanshi to his clinic on Saturday. While Tashu and Suryavanshi have been booked for extortion and criminal intimidation under the IPC, the police are looking for their accomplice, who posed as the girl’s mother