Devotee claims he was assaulted by Lalbaug mandal volunteers
Pune-based Sagar Pawar was allegedly pushed and beaten by volunteers at Lalbaugcha Raja because he was standing and praying near the Ganesh idol
A devotee from Pune who had come to the city to seek blessings from the famous Lalbaugcha Raja was allegedly assaulted by four volunteers of the mandal. The complainant, Sagar Pawar (28), has been coming to Mumbai for the last 10 years to visit the Lalbaug mandal and he reached the city with his friends on September 5 this year as well.
Speaking to mid-day, Pawar said, “I stood in line for more than 12 hours for the darshan. When I finally reached close to the Ganesh idol, I placed my head on the idol’s leg, but was pulled away immediately by someone.”
Pawar then decided to stand aside and pray in front of the idol, when a volunteer approached him and started pushing him outside. “I requested him to let me pray for a minute as I had come all the way from Pune just for the darshan. But he did not listen to me, and soon another four-five volunteers dressed in white kurta also showed up and started assaulting me in front of everyone,” he said.
“I couldn’t do anything, and I felt really angry after the incident. I went to the nearby Kalachowkie police station and registered a complaint against them. I hope cops take appropriate action against them as there
are many devotees who come for darshan every day and I saw the volunteers misbehaving with others as well,” added Pawar.
Senior police inspector from Kalachowkie police station, Bhausaheb Gite, confirmed the incident and said that the investigation is currently ongoing. Cops have registered the complaint under Sections 323 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 504 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.
When this reporter spoke to the President of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Ashok Pawar, he said that he was not aware of any case registered against volunteers of the mandal.