Indian cricketer Prithvi Shaw was allegedly manhandled and his car attacked with a baseball bat outside a luxury hotel at Santacruz in Mumbai following an argument with a woman social media influencer and her male friend after the player refused to click selfies with her, police officials said on Thursday (February 16).
The incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday, they said, adding that the social media influencer, Sapna Gill, was arrested in this connection on Thursday evening, while her friend Shobhit Thakur and six others were booked on the charge of rioting and extortion.
Video goes viral
Gill’s lawyer accused Shaw of being drunk and alleged that the cricketer assaulted the influencer with a wooden bat in a “misuse of power and position”, while the police said that Gill and Thakur were in an inebriated condition at the time of the incident.
Also read: Prithvi Shaw smashes record triple ton (379) in Ranji Trophy
A video of the incident has gone viral on social media, which shows Shaw being manhandled.
Shaw had gone to the hotel located near the domestic airport at Santacruz for dinner with his businessman friend when the sequence of events unfolded, an official said.
A complaint in this connection was lodged by Shaw’s friend and flatmate Ashish Yadav, who runs a cafe. Yadav has been staying with Shaw at Bandra since the last three years, he said.
Demand for more selfies
As per the complaint, Thakur and Gill approached Shaw for a selfie at the hotel. Initially, the cricketer allowed them to do so. But they insisted on clicking more selfies with him, a demand that Shaw turned down. After that, Gill and Thakur started arguing and misbehaving with the cricketer, the official said.
The complaint said that both of them (Gill and Thakur) were in an inebriated condition, he added.
On seeing this, the manager of the hotel intervened and asked the duo, who were demanding selfies with Shaw, to vacate the premises, he said.
After this incident, Shaw and Yadav had dinner at the hotel. But while they were stepping out of the place along with their friend, they saw Thakur holding a baseball bat in hand. After they sat in their car, the accused attacked the windshield of the vehicle with the baseball bat. Shaw was also manhandled by Gill. Sensing more trouble, the cricketer was shifted to another car while Yadav and others drove his vehicle to Oshiwara, he said.
Gill threatens Yadav
Yadav saw three motorcycles and a white-coloured car chasing their vehicle. Around 4 am, those following him attacked his car when it was taking a U-turn near a petrol pump on Link Road. Thakur, who was one of them, broke the rear windshield of the car with the baseball bat.
The six persons on motorcycles along with Gill and Thakur, who were in the car, abused Yadav and those accompanying him. After that, Yadav took the car to Oshiwara police station. The eight accused also followed them there.
Gill started arguing and threatened Yadav to pay ₹50,000 to settle the matter or else she would lodge a false police complaint against them, the police official said.
After that, Yadav lodged a complaint against the accused. Based on his complaint, the Oshiwara police registered a case against the eight accused under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting), 384 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation) and others, he said.
What Gill’s lawyer said
Meanwhile, Gill’s lawyer Ali Kqashif Khan Deshmukh said his client was innocent and had only requested Shaw to click a selfie. He alleged that Shaw was drunk at that time and he manhandled and assaulted Gill with a wooden bat.
Deshmukh further alleged that Shaw had misused his power and position and got a first information report (FIR) case registered against Gill and her friend Thakur.
“Sapna Gill and her friend (Thakur) were fans of Prithvi Shaw and had requested him for a selfie. He, however, refused and was drunk at the time and started abusing and manhandling them,” Deshmukh claimed.
He added that they had photographs to show that Gill has received serious injuries on her arm due to the assault.
(With agency inputs)