Belagavi: A notorious henchman of a BJP MLA has been caught on camera, assaulting and brutally thrashing two young men with hockey sticks after stripping them to the skin.
The barbaric incident which reportedly took place on November 2, came to light only when the hair-raising video footages, reached a few media persons this week. TV news channels on Friday showed visuals where Suresh Maruti Gatige, the henchman of Belagavi (Rural) BJP MLA Sanjay Patil, was thrashing the helpless youngsters.
A known miscreant of Sangh Parivar, Gatige punished the two for allegedly supporting their friend’s love marriage with a girl related to the accused. He thrashed both of them so brutally that a part of the hockey was also broken. Both the victims are said to be the natives of Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.
According to reliable sources, the local police were initially reluctant to file case against the culprit. When the father of one of the victims approached a police station in Kolhapur, the police refused to file the case by passing it off by claiming that the incident happened in Karnataka, so the case will be filed there only.
Finally, the case was registered on November 10 at Kakti police station in Karnataka, but police did not initiate any against the accused. However, media pressure gradually forced the police to arrested Suresh Gatige along with four others.
According to senior police officials, the other accused in the case are Digamber Jothiba Kavanewadkar, Jothiba Krishna Gundakal, Namdev Chaloba Bamne and Maruti Subbarao Savanth. All are from Khudanur of Chandgad taluk of Kolhapur district, and were arrested following a complaint filed by the victim, Anil to the Inspector-General of Police (Northern Range) Bhaskar Rao.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the victims- Anil and his friend, Ganesh, both from Khudanur- were witnesses to the registered marriage of Shubhangi and Prabhakar Ashok Vaddar.
The relatives of the girl, who were opposed to the marriage, kidnapped the witnesses from Chandgad and brought them to a farmhouse near Uchagaon village in Belagavi taluk on November 3.
The accused assaulted Anil and Ganesh with a hockey stick. One of them videographed the assault and threatened them if they informed the police.
Meanwhile, MLA Sanjay Patil has denied having any role in the incident, or any connection with the accused. He has said the accused was from Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and was visiting Belagavi.