In Heterogeneous cellular networks (HetNets), co-channel interference is a major concern due to the co-existence of multiple base stations with overlaid regions. Edge users are typically the victims because of high interference exposure. To counter this high interference, picocells communicate with the edge users in protected subframes (PSF). The severity of the problem intensifies in case of hotspot deployment, where picocells cannot provide coverage to the entire hotspot, thus forming a dense ring of macrocell users around picocells. We argue that these macrocell users are also victims, constituting a significant victim user population in hotspot deployment. We propose that, along with the macrocell muting during PSF, picocells should also be operated in cooperative manner with macrocell, and be barred from transmission during some of the subframes for protection of these macrocell victim users. We define a utility function to find the optimal values of PSF density for both macrocell and picocells, which would increase victim user throughput thereby enhancing system fairness. Exhaustive simulations illustrate that the proposed scheme improves victim user throughput significantly, while maintaining the overall system capacity. © 2014 IFIP.