NAVI MUMBAI: Durga Vahini, the female face of the hardliner Bajrang Dal accused of stopping tourists approaching to Raigad Fort on New Year’s Eve.
According to Times of India reports, the proto- fascistic young women’s wing was under the impression that the tourists go to the fort to get drunk and causing physical damage to “the sanctity of the place” and therefore has taken the law in their hands to punish them.
The “moral police” with sticks checked the tourist’s vehicles for liquor but the police (Mahad taluka) who was well-versed about the matter stopped them from beating.
“The Mahad police have restrained us from beating up people, but I once told them we will use Kolhapur chappals against drunks littering the fort, if need be,” said activist Dipali Date.
Date said, “Two years ago, during a visit to Malvan Fort, I found liquor bottles there.There and then I thought we should protect the sanctity of Shivaji Maharaj’s Raigad Fort. So, women groups trained by me took up this task. Three groups, each with eight members, keep vigil on tourists at Pachad village, the ropeway parking area and atop the fort. This year, not a single person was noticed drunk or consuming liquor inside the fort.”
According to Raigad police’s PRO Dharmaraj Sonke, VHP’s women’s wing are doing social service also helping the police.
“They are doing social service and may be helping the police. I will check with Mahad taluka police about whether formal permission is granted.”