The Mumbai police on Tuesday suspended two women constables for allegedly assaulting a girl during a Ganesh visarjan procession at a famous Ganapati pandal – Lalbaugcha Raja – after the video sparked outrage.
The incident took place when the young woman, Nandini Goswami, tried to enter the pandal through the VIP gate. Three women constables were caught on camera hitting the woman even as a man is seen trying to protect her.
A passerby recorded the incident through his cellphone and uploaded it online, following which the video went viral.
Recently appointed Mumbai police commissioner Ahmed Javed ordered an investigation into the incident, leading to the suspension of two police constables.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also ordered an inquiry into the incident.
What happened at the pandal?
"We went to the VIP gate and requested the volunteers to let us in, but they refused. However, we saw other people going in from there. Someone said that the volunteers would let us in if we offered them money. When we saw more people entering from the VIP gate, we just decided to follow them in," Goswami said, according to Mid-Day report.
Goswami alleged that when she tried entering the pandal along with parents, some volunteers got violent with them.
"While we were trying to get inside, one of the volunteers stopped my mom and started abusing us. A few more male and female volunteers came and started abusing and pushing my mom badly, due to which her clothes got torn," Goswami said.
"That is when I got heated up, and asked if this is the way to behave with women. In no time, several female and male cops started thrashing me brutally," she added.
However, the women police constables claimed that Goswami abused them and even threatened them.
"The girl was beaten up because she threatened the cops saying she was a black belt champion. She had also abused the female cops. We can only see half the incident in the video," a police inspector from Kalachowki police station was quoted saying.
The Mumbai woman further alleged that she was taken to the police station where she was "brutally assaulted" with lathis. She was allowed to let go after paying a fine of Rs 1,200.
"The cops took me to the police station and brutally assaulted me with lathis; I still have the marks on my back. The way they dragged me by my hair was humiliating and my head still hurts," Goswami said.
"I was extremely scared that night, as we were taken to the police station. They slapped us with a fine of Rs 1,200 and then let us leave. I am still terrified; if I come forward and complain, my life could be in danger," she added.