Four sadhus were allegedly assaulted by a mob in Maharashtra's Sangli district on suspicion of being child-lifters, police said.
The sadhus (religious ascetics), however, lodged no complaint over the incident which took place on Tuesday, even as its video went viral, reports PTI.
The incident took place at Lavanga village in Jat tehsil when the four men hailing from Uttar Pradesh were heading towards the temple town of Pandharpur from Bijapur in Karnataka in a car.
They had halted at a temple in the village on Monday. While resuming the journey on Tuesday, they asked a boy for directions, a police official said.
This led some locals to suspect that they were part of criminal gangs which abduct children.
"There was an argument. It escalated quickly and the sadhus were allegedly beaten up with sticks by locals," the official said.
A police team reached the spot and found the sadhus were members of an 'akhada' in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam condemned the incident and said the state government will not tolerate such "misbehaviour" with the sadhus, reports ndtv.com. Strict action will be taken against the accused, he said in a video message. "In the sadhus killing case in Palghar, then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's government meted out injustice to them. But the current Maharashtra government will not allow any injustice against any sadhu," he said referring to the 2020 incident.