By: Shubham Ghosh
A court in Mumbai on Friday (17) remanded social media influencer Sapna Gill in police custody till Monday (20) for allegedly manhandling Indian cricketer Prithvi Shaw and attacking his car following a row over clicking of selfies, even as she claimed to be the real victim.
Besides original charges of rioting and extortion, police also invoked Indian Penal Code section 387 (putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion) against Gill.
The alleged incident had taken place early Wednesday (15) morning outside a luxury hotel in suburban Santacruz.
Based on a complaint lodged by Shaw’s friend and flatmate Ashish Yadav, Oshiwara Police registered a case against Gill, her friend Sohbit Thakur and six others under Indian Penal Code sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting), 384 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation).
Gill, the only arrested accused in the case, was produced before a magistrate court. During the remand hearing, police said the co-accused in the case were absconding.
The investigating officer told the court that Thakur and Gill approached Shaw for a selfie at the hotel. Initially, the cricketer obliged them. But when they insisted on clicking more selfies, he declined, after which Gill and Thakur started misbehaving with the cricketer, he alleged.
The hotel manager intervened and asked Gill and Thakur to leave premises. Shaw and his friend Yadav then had dinner at the hotel. When they were stepping out of the place along with Shaw’s another friend, they saw Thakur standing outside with a baseball bat in hand, the official told the court, citing Yadav’s complaint.
After they sat in their car, the accused attacked its windshield 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, the IO told the magistrate.
Yadav then saw three motorcycles and a white 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 with the baseball bat, the IO said.
The six people on the motorcycles along with Gill and Thakur who were in another car abused Yadav, the IO added. Yadav then took the car to Oshiwara police station.
The eight accused also followed them there. Gill demanded that Yadav pay Rs 50,000 to settle the matter or else she would lodge a false police complaint against them, the investigating officer said.
Opposing the police’s remand plea, Gill’s lawyer Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh said Gill was the victim and not the cricketer. She should have been filing the case against the cricketer, but he used his “muscle power”, the lawyer alleged.
Gill too addressed the court directly, stating that all the allegations against her were false and “he (Shaw) hit me on the chest and arms.”
On the claim that the incident took place after she asked for a selfie with Shaw, Gill said, “I do not know him, nor I have ever seen him. I never asked for a selfie with him.” She also accused Shaw of being inebriated. Metropolitan magistrate, Andheri court, C P Kashid after hearing both the sides remanded Gill in police custody.