'FIR Lodged Only After Viral Video': Mumbai Woman Assaulted by MNS Workers
The woman said the cops refused to register an FIR and instead lodged a non-cognizable (NC) offence.
"I reported the matter to the Nagpada police and showed the officers the video, they refused to register an FIR and instead lodged a non-cognisable (NC) offence. It was only after the video went viral the next day, did the police reach out to me to register an FIR,” said Prakashdevi Bohra, the woman who was assaulted by MNS workers outside her closed shop at Kamatipura in Nagpada on 28 August.
In a conversation with The Indian Express, Bohra said that the argument had begun over MNS workers wanting to erect a bamboo pole to display a poster, welcoming visitors to the local Ganpati mandal, right outside her shop.
A video of the incident, in which MNS workers can be seen assaulting and pushing Bohra, had gone viral on social media on Thursday. The police lodged an FIR in the case and arrested the three accused, including Vinod Argile, the deputy division chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a party led by Raj Thackeray.
Argile was removed from the party post after he tendered an apology on Friday.
A widow, Bohra who stays with her daughter and son at Mumbai Central, was reportedly out to take part in a religious procession at Nagpada when the altercation took place. “They were digging outside my shop to put up a banner, so I requested them to dig a few meters ahead,” said Bohra, following which the argument broke out.
Bohra said that since she was fasting and was aware that the police would make her sit for hours to take my complaint, she did not go to the police station for the next two days.
MNS Issues Apology
MNS leader and former legislator Bala Nandgaonkar issued a written clarification apologising on behalf of the party. “The party has taken a very stern stand on it, and as part of this, Vinod Argile, the upavibhag adhyaksha in Kamathipura, has been terminated from his post,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying. He added that the incident would be inquired into and action would be taken.
Commenting on the incident, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “It's totally unacceptable and shameful behaviour.”
"It's not Maharashtra's culture. He (MNS leader) should publicly apologise to all the women of Maharashtra," Chaturvedi said, demanding the suspension of the MNS leader from Raj Thackeray's party.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Aditya Thackeray described the incident as outrageous and demanded strict action. “I have seen the video and it was a really dirty and ugly act… it is outrageous… It is not at all right to behave like this… be it an officer-bearer or a party worker of any party. Strict action should be taken and that action should be visible to the people. Raising hands on someone, that too on a woman, is unacceptable,” Aaditya told the media.
The NCW also took cognisance of the incident and demanded strict action against the accused. The commission has also sought a fair and time-bound investigation.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.)
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