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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Road rage case: Builder ‘beats up’ national-level judo player, she fears injury may end her career

Vaishnavi Thube suffers career-threatening injury, builder secures bail

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: August 6, 2021 10:55:13 am
Vaishnavi Thube (Express Photo)

In a case of road rage, Vaishnavi Thube (23), a national-level judo player and wrestler, was allegedly beaten up by a builder. Thube, whose left arm was fractured in the beating, said the injury threatens to ruin her 10-year-old sporting career as well as her dream of becoming an Army officer.

The alleged incident took place in Fatimanagar area on July 30 when Thube was riding a two-wheeler with her sister-in-law as the pillion rider. A BMW, which was speeding, brushed past the two-wheeler, injuring Thube’s sister-in-law.

“… My sister-in-law was screaming in pain. I tried to ask the BMW driver to drive his vehicle properly. Instead of enquiring whether my sister-in-law was hurt, he started hurling abuses at us,” Thube told The Indian Express on Thursday.

She said that a short distance away, both vehicles came to a halt at a traffic signal. “Even at the signal, the man kept abusing us… suddenly, he got out of the car with a wooden club and attacked me. Even as he hit me, no one at the signal came to our rescue. His family was also in the car. A woman inside the car… told my sister-in-law that she too would be beaten up if she didn’t keep quiet,” said Thube.

“He hit me repeatedly on the shoulder and on the back. When he tried to hit me on the head, I tried to block the club. The blow landed on my left arm so severely that the wooden club broke into two. It was only after the club broke that the man left. While leaving, he said ‘don’t you know I am’…” Thube said.

“We were not at all at fault. He came from behind, driving rashly and hitting us… instead of being apologetic, the man was acting as if it was our fault for driving ahead of him,” she said.

The two then went to the Wanavdi police station and registered a complaint, and also provided pictures of the man and his BMW. “The police took more than four hours to register the complaint,” she said.

When contacted, Police Sub-Inspector Bhushan Potavde said, “We have registered an FIR under sections 325 and 326 of IPC against the man, who is a builder.”

On why the builder had not been arrested, Potavde said, “We went to his house but he was not there… the next day, he himself went to the court and secured bail…”.

Meanwhile, Thube said she now fears losing her career. “I don’t think I will again be able to play judo or take part in wrestling competitions. This is because the fracture is severe and I won’t be able to use my arms effectively,” she said.

“I wanted to appear for the Combined Defences Services Exam and become an Army officer. However, this doesn’t seem possible…For the Army exam, even someone with a minor injury is not allowed and I have suffered a senior one,” she said.

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