On February 20, the son of Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Phaterpekar, Swapnil, allegedly attacked popular Indian singer Sonu Nigam and injured his close associates, Hari Prasad and Rabbani Khan, after a concert. A video of the incident has since gone viral on social media. The attack has resulted in a case being filed under Sections 341, 337, and 323 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to reports, Swapnil approached Nigam for a selfie as he was leaving the venue backstage, but the singer refused. Swapnil tried to take selfies forcefully, and Nigam’s bodyguard intervened to protect him. Nigam’s associates also tried to stop Swapnil, but he pushed them, causing them to fall off the stairs. In the video footage, it can be seen that Nigam’s associates were hurt in the incident.
Rabbani Khan, the son of Nigam’s guru and mentor, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, narrowly escaped serious injuries. Speaking to the media, Nigam said that he filed a complaint because it is wrong to force someone to take a selfie. He explained that Swapnil grabbed him, and when his close associate Hari Prasad came to his rescue, Swapnil pushed him too. Nigam himself was also pushed, and when Rabbani tried to help him, he was pushed as well. Luckily, Rabbani did not fall on any metal.
The incident has caused outrage among Nigam’s fans, and the attack has raised questions about the security arrangements at events where high-profile celebrities are present.
‘Uddhav’s Sena became Gundo Ki Sena’ – BJP reacted to the incident
Shehzad Poonawalla, the national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), condemned the recent attack on Sonu Nigam and his associates, allegedly by Prakash Phaterpekar’s son, Swapnil. Poonawalla criticized Uddhav Sena and referred to it as “Gundo Ki Sena” while highlighting their sense of arrogance, entitlement, and violent politics. He also brought attention to the fact that this incident was not the first case of violence by Uddhav Ki Sena. Poonawalla pointed out that the party had previously attacked a 60-year-old Navy veteran and other individuals physically and violently. He called for Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the MLA and his son, and questioned if such violent politics were condoned or condemned by him. Poonawalla believed that this incident highlights the true face of Uddhav Ki Sena and their politics of violence, which the people of Maharashtra have rejected.
Police Statement on Incident
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Hemrajsingh Rajput, Sonu Nigam was leaving the stage after a live concert when an individual held onto him. When the singer objected, the individual, identified as Swapnil Phaterpekar, pushed Sonu Nigam and two others accompanying him down the stairs, causing injury to one of the men. DCP Rajput explained that Sonu Nigam did not believe the incident was intentional and seemed to be the work of a single person. The situation was later brought under control by volunteers, and only Swapnil Phaterpekar’s name is mentioned in the FIR. DCP Rajput speculated that the accused may have held the singer to take a photo with him.
The Chembur Festival, hosted by MLA Prakash Phaterpekar, was where Sonu Nigam was performing. During the event, the MLA’s son reportedly misbehaved with Nigam’s manager, Saira, and demanded that she leave the stage. Later, as Nigam was leaving the stage, the son approached him for a selfie, which Nigam declined. In response, the son grew agitated and pushed Nigam’s bodyguard before pushing the singer himself. Rabbani, an associate of Nigam, suffered injuries and was taken to the Zen Hospital in Chembur for treatment.