This is the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai, India, where devotees worship the Hindu god of prosperity, Lord Ganesh, and then immerse his idols into the sea.
On Sept. 20, the final day of immersion, Atul Kamble, a photographer with the Mumbai tabloid Mid-day, captured these horrific images of men allegedly molesting a woman in the massive crowds.
Kamble, who was there to capture "mood shots," said he spotted a girl "battling her way through the crowd." He also noticed a group of men touching people excessively "in the guise of pushing them along."
Kamble said he observed one man "grab the girl, not once but several times, on the pretext of stabilizing himself."
Kamble also saw two other men allegedly molest the woman who was struggling to fight them off in the huge crowd. Kamble said the men were "adept at disguising" their movements to make it seem like they were just jostling people around.
Kamble said the men "appeared to be professional molesters, mingling with the crowd with one specific aim, just like pickpockets do."
Kamble was unable to help the woman from the flyover where he was stationed. He could not see any cops nearby. He said, "All I could do was to keep shooting and capture the heinous act and hope that the pictures help bring the culprits to justice."
Mid-Day contacted police officers about the incident. Here are their responses:
Joint Commissioner of Police, Sadanand Date, said, "I cannot comment on it unless I see the photographs."
Additional Commissioner of Police (Central Region), Praveen Salunkhe, said, "I am on leave."
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV), D Karale, said, "I cannot comment on this as I am busy at my relative's place."
Senior Police Inspector Sunil Tondwankar of Bhoiwada police station said, "There was a foolproof bandobast (preparation) at the spot. We have not come across any such incident or complaint so far."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
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