A group of self-proclaimed Shivaji ‘bhakts thrashed and manhandled trekkers from Pune during New Year celebrations at a Lonavala-based fort.
According to a Mid- Day report, the trekkers were manhandled, stripped naked and beaten up by a group of 15 people, including six girls. They were even forced to hold saffron flags and chant slogans like ‘Jai Shivaji, Jai Bhavani’.
A Pune-based fitness trainer Shalini Pallav Jhala (36) approached the Police and Jay Jadhav and registered a complaint against the assaulters.
Shalini and her husband, who were joined by two of her husband’s office colleagues and their spouses, decided to go on a camp to Visapur Fort adjacent to Lohagad near Lonavala for a peaceful New Year celebration.
“While looking up the Internet, I found a travel website ‘Life Away From Life’ that had details about the camp at Visapur Fort and mentioned the charges as R3,000 per person. Thereafter, I made the bookings for us, including my husband’s colleagues Nilesh Vaidya and Priyanka and their spouses,” Shalini was quoted by Mid-Day as saying.
“We reached the spot around 1 pm on December 31. Nearly 40 other families were present at the camp. While playing cricket around 3.30 pm, we heard a loud noise coming from a distance, but we ignored it,” she said.
“Later, in the evening when we were enjoying a campfire, suddenly a group of six girls dressed in salwaar kameez and armed with bamboo sticks came and started abusing us. They thought we were drunk and had taken drugs. When we told them that we were married couples, they asked us to show our mangalsutras and abused us for not wearing bindi,” she added.
She alleged that men were forced to strip and the right wing goons poured cold drink on them.
Shalini, whose right hand was fractured in the incident, told Mid-Day that the goons even beat up a five-year-old child and the boy is still in shock as he saw his mother being slapped and father being brutally beaten up.
However, a police officer quoted by Mid-Day said that a complaint has been registered against the volunteers and the organiser of the trecking camp. He added that main accused Rasika has been booked.