A woman who was allegedly assaulted by police at a famous Ganesha pandal in Mumbai has said she will register a formal complaint, stressing she was not at fault.
“I did not do anything wrong. I have been going to Lalbaug for years and this has never happened to me before,” said Nandini Goswami in an interview to television channel ABP News on Monday.
She was allegedly assaulted by women constables at Lalbaug, a prominent location for Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in the city, on Friday. A woman journalist was also allegedly detained for hours outside the same pandal on the same night. Her phone was seized and she was let off after being fined.
Goswami said she was stopped when she tried to enter the pandal. “Many people were requesting to go inside. A volunteer started to abuse us while police began to push us. My mother’s dress was torn and I got angry. They [police] continued to assault us.”
Goswami said her father, too, was assaulted. “I was taken to the police station where I was fined. I have marks on my body and could not attend work for two days.”
Poonam Apraj, the journalist who was also allegedly harassed, said: “I tried entering the venue through the VIP gate. I produced my resident card along with my press identification card, but a woman constable stopped me from entering, snatched my phone away and dragged me to a police van.”
Police have ordered an inquiry after a video of the purported incident went viral on social media, triggering outrage. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also sought a clarification from Mumbai Police.