Held for molestation at Ganesh Visarjan, man tries extortion during Navratri

Faraskhana police yesterday apprehended four youths from Mangalwar Peth who allegedly tried to force a tempo driver and his employee to pay up Rs 500 for the celebrations of ongoing Navratri festival on Sunday night. The accused have been identified as Prafull Devram Devkule (29), Mayur Chandrakant Velekar (22), Nitin Vitthal Dhamdere (25) and Vijay Chandrakant Khude (25). Two of their juvenile accomplices have also been taken into custody.

Raju Nivrutti Vidhate (39), a tempo driver from Khadki, has lodged a complaint under sections 384 (punishment for extortion), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of Indian Penal Code against the four men. Assistant inspector Geeta Bagawade is investigating the case.

According to police, the accused had demanded Rs 500 from Vidhate’s employee Haribhau More when the latter was at a weighing centre in Mangalwar Peth. When More refused to shell out the money, the offenders started abusing him and then beat him up. More then called up Vidhate, who rushed to the spot. He agreed to give Rs 100 as contribution to the Sangam Navratri mandal. However, the accused started thrashing Vidhate with hockey sticks owing to which he received grievous injuries to his eyes. Later, the miscreants allegedly urinated on the complainant’s face.

“Of the four accused, Mayur Velekar was earlier arrested in a molestation case during the recent Ganpati Visarjan,” inspector Bhanupratap Barge told MiD DAY. “We appeal to the people to come forward and register complaints against such mandal activists who are extorting money on the pretext of festival contribution and collection,” Barge said.  

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