The Mumbai Police were left red-faced after a 29-second long video clip went viral on Sunday night, showing three policewomen pushing and repeatedly slapping a woman outside the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh pandal, in central Mumbai.
While the police have ordered a probe, and the report is expected within 48 hours, sources said the three policewomen — a sub-inspector and two constables — were likely to be suspended.
The victim, identified as Nandini Goswami, 21, who works as a background (junior) artiste in Bollywood, was reportedly beaten up after she tried to enter the pandal from the VIP gate. The incident occurred on Friday night, at about 11 pm. Goswami was accompanied by her family, which reportedly included an aged grandmother and two minor children.
“Just while we were trying to enter through the VIP gate, we were stopped by the volunteers,” she told The Indian Express. “The police intervened and a woman constable ripped my mother’s top… They were also hurling abuses at my aged parents and grandmother, who was pushed aside and separated from us. I lost my composure and retaliated with expletives,” she said.
Goswami was reportedly slapped and kicked before she and her family were taken to the Kalachowkie police station, where she was allegedly subjected to further assault. She was later released, after reportedly being made to pay a fine of Rs 1,200 for indecent behaviour. Her mother was also reportedly told to pay a fine of Rs 1,200.
“My daughter was beaten in public for about 30 minutes, and nobody dared to intervene. The women constables slapped, kicked and dragged her by the hair,” said her mother.
“My daughter, who came directly from her shoot, was also harassed by volunteers. While assaulting her, the policewomen repeatedly asked her why she was wearing shorts,” she said. “She was assaulted with sticks. She has bruises on her thigh and scratches on her back,” she said.
“We were threatened by the officials… that since we had misbehaved with a policewoman, strict action would be taken. We, therefore, decided not to lodge a complaint,” said the mother.
The police took cognizance after a video clip started circulating on various social media and messenger services. “The girl met me and I have ordered a probe… we will take action against those found guilty,” said Ahmad Javed, Mumbai Police Commissioner.