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Woman assaulted at Pune New Year bash

Some 170 km away from Mumbai, an NRI woman was physically assaulted by a group of men at a New Year’s bash in a Pune club, reports Yogesh Joshi.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2008 03:38 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times

About the time, more or less, when two revellers were molested by a mob near the JW Marriott in Mumbai, some 170 km away a non-resident Indian woman was physically assaulted by a group of men at a New Year’s bash in a Pune club.

At least one more person with the 32-year-old woman, who was with her husband and five other couples and some children suffered injuries when at least five youths started misbehaving and turned violent upon being asked not to take photographs.

The Pancard club, where the celebrations were being held, however, denied such an incident took place on its premises, while the police said no complaint had been made with them. But the police added that they would take steps to punish the guilty if the injured person came to them with details.

“So far I have not received any complaint or information about such an incident,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Chandrashekhar Daithankar said.

The assaulted woman was initially reluctant to speak to a mediaperson but later agreed to reveal details if her identity was protected.

The UK-based woman, who used to work as a lawyer in Pune before moving abroad, said she was hit on the forehead with a chair when “five-six” people brawled with her and others in her group inside the club in Baner.

“Initially, a mob of heavily built five-six persons involved themselves in brawl with our group upon our confronting them for taking our pictures,” she said. “They also hurled a beer bottle at us”.

The woman, who was receiving out-patient treatment at the Medi-Point hospital in Aundh, and her husband, Krishnan Lalla, had come to Pune on vacation and were at the club with friends.

Lalla’s friend Vikas Bharadwaj, who was also with them at the celebrations, was also injured.

“A heavily built guy came and hit me from the back,” he said.

Lalla and his wife, who have decided not to file a police complaint, said there was inadequate security at the party venue though the crowd was huge.

Pratap Barde, manager (administration), Pancard Club, said: “We could have acted if anybody would have told us about incident. So far there has not been any verbal or written complaint.”

Manish Gandhi, in-charge of electronic devices processing at the club, said they had “CCTV deployed near the disc jockey, but not elsewhere”.

Another person in the Lalla’s group, who refused to reveal his identity and said he did not want to share any information, was admitted to the Medi-Point hospital. His hospital admission form said his injuries were because of a fall.

Police Inspector Sheshrao Suryawanshi, who was asked by Daithankar to take a look at the matter when approached by this reporter, made enquiries at Medi-Point.

“One person admitted to Medi-Point has mentioned in his admission form that he fell while dancing,” Suryawanshi said. “If anyone who has been assaulted during a New Year’s bash comes to us with details, we will immediately initiate action.”