Pune: Assault on Warkari Students at Bhamchandra Caves Sparks Outrage, Demands for Justice

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Bhamboli, 17th June 2024: Students studying the Warkari Sect at Bhamchandra Caves, a revered pilgrimage site in Khed Taluka, Pune, were assaulted by a group of youths. The attack occurred after the Warkari students requested the youths, who were accompanied by girls and behaving obscenely, to stop. The incident has sparked condemnation from villagers of Bhamchandra Caves who are demanding strict action against the perpetrators.

Bhamchandra Caves in Khed taluka are known as the study and spiritual grounds of Saint Tukaram Maharaj, attracting seekers from across Maharashtra State who stay and study there for years. Currently, around 30 to 40 students reside and pursue their studies at this location. However, on Sunday (16th June), an incident occurred where a young couple engaged in indecent behavior, prompting Kuldeep Khot, a Warkari student, to intervene. In retaliation, the youth verbally abused and physically assaulted Khot and another student.

During the altercation, one student sustained a broken leg, and another suffered injuries, both requiring medical treatment at a local private hospital. The Committee in charge of Bhamchandra Caves has strongly condemned the incident and called for stringent action against the assailants. It has been noted that instances involving intoxicated individuals and couples engaging in romantic activities have threatened the safety of Warkari students in the past.

In response to the assault, villagers have become increasingly vigilant, causing a sense of fear among students studying there. Four accused have been detained in connection with the case. Police Constable Prakash Navale and his team, under the guidance of Senior Police Inspector Nitin Gite of Mahalunge Police Station, are conducting further investigations.

H.B.P. Shankar Maharaj Marathe, a resident of Bhamchandra Caves, emphasized the need for joint efforts from the police administration and the community to prevent such incidents in the future, asserting that such behavior happens frequently.