Actor objects to rain dance, is thrashed

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SadashivMUMBAI: Five unidentified men allegedly assaulted actor SadashivAmrapurkar when he raised objection to a rain dance party for Holi in a Versova society on Wednesday. A TV news cameraman, who was taking shots of the party, on information provided by Amrapurkar, was also allegedly manhandled.

Amrapurkar claimed that when he dialled the police emergency number 100, the operator was rude to him.A case of rioting, assault, trespass, criminal intimidation and unlawful assembly has been registered against the five, but no arrests have been made.

Around 2pm, a reporter reached the actor’s home in Panchdhara building on Yari Road to talk about the drought and celebrating a dry Holi by most Mumbaikars. “Amrapurkar told the reporter that it was futile talking about water conservation when a rain dance party was on in the adjacent building since 10am. The reporter said his cameraman would film the rain dance,” a police officer said.

The accused spotted the cameraman, and at 5pm, they entered Amrapurkar’s society and assaulted him and took his cassette. When Amrapurkar intervened, they abused and manhandled him as well. Amrapurkar told TOI: “I saw water being wasted in the rain dance party and loud music being played. We were getting disturbed.

When I got a phone call from a reporter, I told him about the hooliganism. On arriving at my flat, the cameraman started taking shots. Those in the party suddenly jumped into our compound and thrashed us. Worse, when I dialled the police helpline, the operator rudely asked me who I was and what I wanted to complain about. He said some policemen came and cut the call.”

In another incident, 14 people allegedly assaulted 10 volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), including two women, in Dombivli when they were on a water-conservation drive on Holi. The accused also molested the two women. The Manpada police arrested three of the accused, including a 16-year-old.

On Tuesday at 8pm, AAP volunteers were distributing pamphlets near Gharda circleto create awareness to avoid using water during Holi as the state is reeling under a drought. Naresh Thakur, AAP spokesperson in Thane district, said, “When one of the men threw a water balloon at a woman volunteer, we ignored it assuming they were playing Holi. But when they threw another balloon, we confronted them.” Pranil Chaudhari, who suffered injuries, said, “The men beat us up and molested the women. Aakash Shelke (23) was caught but the others fled.” Senior inspector Ramakant Mehre said, “Shelke revealed the names of his friends. We arrested Kiran Sonne and a 16-year-old.” and are looking for others.”

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