A few videos clips purportedly showing home guards thrashing and abusing two youths on Triveni Ghat, part of the Somnath temple complex near Veraval in Gir Somnath district, were widely shared on social media on Thursday with police claiming that the men clicked “photos inappropriate to the religious place” with three girls.
In the videos, a woman home guard is seen slapping and verbally abusing the two young men as well as one of the three girls accompanying them. Other male home guards are seen beating up the men with a fibre baton even as one of the girls pleads, “I bow down and touch your feet. Please forgive us this time, madam. I am a devotee of Lord Shiva and would not do it again.”
Another man is heard retorting, “Better you touch the feet of your father”, even as another girl is seen complaining, “Sorry sir, we shall not do this again… What is going on? Why is a video being recorded? We are not guilty of anything. We have done nothing.”
The woman guard asks her, “Don’t you feel ashamed to roam around in this manner”, when the girl replies, “We don’t know anything. Masiba (auntee) also doesn’t know. We are guests from Jamnagar… We were just having darshan in the shrine of Lord Shiva.” The woman guard cuts her short, shouting at the girls to leave the place.
The alleged incident took place on February 5 and the two men were later taken to Prabhas Patan police station. After the videos went viral, Prabhas Patan police inspector GM Rathva said that the duo had challenged the authority of the home guards who asked them not to take photos on the Triveni Ghat.
“The two men and the girls were taking photos by standing too close to each another in a manner inappropriate at a religious place. Someone performing ritual on the ghat asked them to go away and maintain sanctity of the place but the young men did not listen. Therefore, the person called a home guard but the duo challenged his authority and refused to budge… The home guard called other personnel deployed there, including one woman, and they removed the five from the place,” Rathva told The Indian Express on Thursday.
Rathva said that both of them were students. “They later realised their mistake and tendered written apologies, after which they were allowed to go. No case was registered,” the inspector added. Rathva said that Prabhas Patan police deploys around 10 home guards at the Triveni Ghat, where people perform shraddh and other rituals.