Police arrested three Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers today for allegedly assaulting a 57-year-old woman at Nagpada after she allegedly stopped them from putting up a party banner welcoming Ganesha outside her shut shop. These MNS workers are Vinod Argile, Raju Argile and Sandip Lad.
On 28 August at about 2.30 PM, they were putting up banners to welcome Ganesha when the woman, identified as Prakash Devi, stopped them, saying that she had no problem with Ganesha and was a devotee too, but the banner should be put in a manner so that it does not obstruct the public view of her medical shop. The pillars for the banner, she said, could be placed at some distance — as reported by some locals.
But the police said the pharmacy had been shut for the last seven or eight years.
The police said, after the woman objected, the MNS workers got into an argument with the woman where Argile abused and slapped her. He also pushed her, which made her fall to the ground.
Initially, the police in Nagpada had lodged a non-cognisable complaint. But after the video of the incident went viral on social media and the news channels picked up the story, an FIR was registered.
Vinod Argile, Raju Argile and Sandip Lad were booked under Sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 336 (act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation), 323 (causing hurt) and 34 (act done with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 (1 a) (molesting a person to prejudice of employment or business) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932.
Asked if the MNS had permission from BMC to put up the banners, a police officer said, “It is part of the investigation.” The police are looking for more people in the case.
When contacted, a senior MNS leader refused to comment on the incident. “I am collecting information on the incident,” the politician said.