Woman assaulted by cops at Lalbaugcha Raja speaks out

While the footage that has gone viral shows three women constables thrashing Nandini Goswami near the VIP gate of Lalbaugcha Raja, she says that what it doesn’t show is how cops thrashed her yet again with lathis at the police station before letting her off in the wee hours of the next morning with a Rs 1,200 fine

"What you see in the video does not even show half of what happened to me and my parents," Nandini Goswami told mid-day, recalling her horrific experience at Lalbaugcha Raja on Friday, when she was assaulted by three women constables after she tried to enter the pandal through the VIP gate.

Also read: Woman thrashed by lady cops at Lalbaugcha Raja

A video of the incident quickly went viral on social media, after which Commissioner of Police Ahmad Javed ordered an inquiry into it. What the video does not capture, however, is how her parents also got caught in the fray and how the pandal volunteers jeered at them, or how the police took her to the police station, where they beat her with a lathi and held her till the wee hours of the next morning, Nandini said.

Nandini Goswami
Nandini Goswami

"I have been visiting Lalbaugcha Raja since I was five years old, and that’s why I went there for darshan on Friday evening. But what happened then was extremely traumatic," she said. The 29-second video, shot by an onlooker standing on Lalbaug flyover, shows three female constables hitting the 20-year-old, until her father arrives to shield her from the blows.

"I won't forget it all my life. 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," Nandini recounted.

That is when things got ugly. Cops claimed they only hit Nandini because she had hurled abuses at the women constables and had threatened them, saying she had a black belt in karate. However, Nandini countered, "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. Anybody in the world would get angry if such things happen to their parents."

Stills from the 29-second video of cops assaulting the girl at Lalbaugcha Raja. She said this does not cover even half of what happened to her and her parents that night
Stills from the 29-second video of cops assaulting the girl at Lalbaugcha Raja. She said this does not cover even half of what happened to her and her parents that night

"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. They did not stop there; the volunteers also jeered at us with abusive language and told the cops that they were doing the right thing by hitting us," she said, adding, "I think the whole Lalbaug pandal should be shut down, since their behaviour towards devotees is pathetic."

"There was much more that happened than the assault seen in the footage. 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," Nandini alleged.

Although the incident had taken place around 11 pm on Friday night, she was only allowed to leave the police station around 3 am, after they had slapped a Rs 1,200 fine on her and charged her with creating nuisance in a public place under the Bombay Police Act.

"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," said the Mira Road resident, who has not been able to go to work since then, as she is still in pain.

"When I went for a check-up, there were several injuries — which were very much visible — on my neck, back, thighs and hands." Her employer, actor and vocalist Saurav Sharma said, "I have been talking to senior cops in the department to seek justice for Nandini. What has happened to her is not correct and shouldn't happen with anyone else."

CP orders inquiry
After the 29-second video went viral on social media, Commissioner of Police Ahmad Javed ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Ashok Dudhe to submit a report within 48 hours.

“We have asked for an inquiry into the matter and the report will be submitted in 48 hours,” said Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order).

Cop speak
“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,” claimed a police inspector from Kalachowki police station.

Second incident in the same day
A scribe for a Marathi daily alleged that she was also manhandled at Lalbaugcha Raja the same day, over the same issue — VIP entry. After she was denied entry through the gate, she shot a video of others being let in from there.

Also read: Woman scribe's unpleasant experience outside Lalbaugcha Raja pandal

“They beat me up and also deleted my video. They charged me under the Bombay Police Act and fined me Rs 1,200. They took both Nandini and me to the Kalachowki police station and held us there till 3 am. Is this the way the police behave with people?” said Poonam Apraj. 

— Vinay Dalvi

  • Patrao29-Sep-2015

    Mumbai police are a law to themselves. No one can touch them. They better not touch a SS, MNS, NCP, Congress, BJP politicians or a goonda. Other than that everyone is fair game.

  • B29-Sep-2015

    shameful act by cops. Responsible cops should be suspended with immediate effects. Charges claimed by cops must be false one created by cops themselves.

  • Stop This Drama29-Sep-2015

    I think that Lalbaug pandal should be closed for a few years. It is supposed to be a "sarvajanik" pandal, but the mere show of the money can get you in front of the others.The hype is not worth the belief that people have. If you want to join in , then go via the regular queue. NO VIP queues pls. Also applies to Siddhivinayak.

  • kranti29-Sep-2015

    these VIP's and their entourage have made life miserable for the common man...

  • Sumit30-Sep-2015

    I think people should learn from this and avoid going to such money making machines, This is purely money making business, They Treat VIP as GOD and medium class as slaves, These cops should better go back to their school days and get themselves trained on how to behave, Unfortunately even these are medium class people who cannot respect medium class people, if the law was broken they could have arrested but assault in a public place shameful act!!!!

  • sw30-Sep-2015

    Stop going to these so called famous pandals/temple and they will close down automatically....

  • m balachandran30-Sep-2015

    I wonder Why people go and throng Lalbagcha Raja when they have great temples like Prabhadevi Mandir and Titwala Mandir which are more than 100 years and 300 years old temples.

  • sad01-Oct-2015

    Strong litigation should set an example for these cop's behavior. No matter what a person says ,cops are trained to keep their composure not behave like road side gunda's

  • hrd29-Sep-2015

    this is what lalbaug pandal is open ur eyes guys..........

  • Mangesh29-Sep-2015

    MR Subodh Garud ,Whatever be the invstigation ,is it rite to hit someone in public ?U might have someone in ur family in this Police and that is why u r trying to be good ,that is what the girl was doing,m sure no oone will charge on police when they are with family.

  • GODFATHER30-Sep-2015


  • Rameswar Pattanayak29-Sep-2015

    What made her to push in to VIP entry instead of normal. Police are not always at fault. Diminishing police morale by highlighting such incidents using social media which can be one sided story most of the time.

  • Pradeep29-Sep-2015

    This is what Indian police behave with poor and humble Indian citizens. She must have faced lots of cruelty at police station. Mumbai police is very barbaric with innocents and very gentle with goons. Stringent actions Maharashtra state Govt should take on those culprit lady constables. There are many shameful things they do every day which is not getting record. Shameful act from Shameful police.

  • R Dumasia29-Sep-2015

    This concept of VIP separation on basis of money in front of GODs (almost everywhere in INDIA from Tirupathy to Siddhivinaak to pandals) is a shameful demonstration of lack of humility in front of Gods.people themselves should realize that half second they allow you to stand in front of God does not show devotion but outright hypocrisy that Gods will grant them wishes if they give lot of money to them.!! Or that praying in a particular temple (or pandal in this case) will resolve all their issu

  • koolx05-Oct-2015

    Only VIP's should be allowed for darshan at Lalbaugcha Raja.

  • Basil Almeida01-Oct-2015

    My experience with the police is that even when you try to complain about something (without raising your voice) they will talk to you as if you have committed some grave offence. Try complaining against a developer or contractor who has flouted laws and see the police reactions - they will begin to act as of you have complained against their own family members. First, they will frustrate you by stonewalling or trying to shunt you out - if that fails, they will be rude and trying to provoke you

  • subodh Garud29-Sep-2015

    Don't blame Mumbai Police, they are more sensible and knows their jobs better. Social media cartoons only see one side of coin and starting giving their comments, its became fashion. Let the inquiry happen and then we should comment. I am not saying that girl is wrong but we cannot ruled out possibility of arrogance by the girl which might forced police to react, we should understand the pressure on law enforcing agencies during festivals and should act accordingly.

  • irwin29-Sep-2015

    Police are to protect and serve. Video footage clearly shows how they are behaving like goonda, Mr. CM should takes necessary action against those cops.

  • UV29-Sep-2015

    In India we now have two castes - VIP

  • companionz29-Sep-2015

    Who the hell police think they are? Of course they are law enforcement bodies but this incident is a violation of public rights. If there was an issue, the victim should have been arrested and penalized as per law. Why the hell they did hit her in public so brutally (just for her comment?), she is not a terrorist or something.. it's a shame to Democracy.

  • Indian29-Sep-2015

    No matter what she did, police has no right to take law into their own hands and start beating her. police are their to keep law and order, if somebody is making trouble, force them to leave. Who gave so much power to police that they can beat citizens. It is clear that India is a police raj..police was not threatened..the police seems to have all the power and they are taking out their anger by beating citizens..

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