Indian police
© Reuters / Sivaram V
Indian police raided a home in New Delhi to rescue a wealthy businessman who was taken hostage by a group of women over alleged sexual abuse. Rape is a major problem in India, as well as the growing number of false accusations.

The managing director of a Mumbai-based marine engineering company was kidnapped during a business trip to the capital, police were informed on Friday. It was soon established via CCTV footage that the 64-year-old left his five-star hotel accompanied by two women and departed in a Hyundai Verna vehicle.

The abductors repeatedly called company officials, demanding ransom of 3 million rupees (US$42,600), using WhatsApp to conceal their identities, a police source told the Times of India.

Meanwhile, having identified the vehicle's license plates, the officers traced the address of the owner. The man was home and confessed to being part of the plot, saying that he was just seeking to make some easy cash. He apparently told police the place where the businessman was being held.

During a raid on the kidnappers' hideout in Laxmi Nagar district in the east of the capital on Saturday, four women and two men, including the car's owner, were arrested. Their identities haven't been disclosed due to the ongoing investigation.

The senior manager was discovered locked in one of the rooms. He explained that he was invited to Laxmi Nagar by two women, one of whom he knew beforehand. But once they arrived, two more females appeared and accused him of raping one of their daughters, demanding ransom for his freedom.

The businessman, whose identity has not been revealed, denies all allegations and it's not yet clear if police will be looking into the sexual assault accusations of the kidnappers.

Sexual assault, including gang rape, has become an epidemic in India in recent years, with harsh new laws introduced to make the environment safer for women. But it seems to have backfired with a wave of false accusations often made to settle scores after failed relationships or for personal gain.

The situation became so dire that a #MenToo movement was sparked in the country in order to protect slandered males. Those behind it stage rallies, demanding the identities of men who face sexual assault accusations remain undisclosed until legal proceedings against them are concluded. The activists also want women who make rape accusations, only to withdraw them when asked to appear before the magistrate, to be investigated.

#MenToo is a response to the #MeToo international movement for woman's rights that picked up in India last year after actress Tanushree Dutta accused Bollywood veteran Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. This was followed by claims of abuse against a number of politicians and celebrities, leading to several resignations and arrests.