Mangalore, July 29: Atleast 20 persons have been arrested in connection with the attack on girls and boys at an homestay allegedly by activists of a Hindu outfit in an act of moral policing, as an embarrassed BJP Government today said no one would be spared for the “inhuman act”, which has sparked public outrage.
The state government rushed a top police official and imposed prohibitory orders in Mangalore, where the suspected activists of Hindu Jagarane Vedike activists carried out the attack last night alleging that it was a rave party at the homestay where illegal activities were going on.
As the moral policing act came under all-round attack targeting the BJP Government, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar held a meeting in Bangalore with Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R Ashoka and reviewed the situation. Atleast 20 persons had been arrested for the attack, Shettar said, adding “Government has taken the incident very seriously. No body will be allowed to take law into their hands.”
He said Police had been directed to arrest the other culprits immediately and take stringent action against them. “…It is an inhuman act,” Ashoka said warning that the government would not tolerate such attacks.
ADGP Bipin Gopalakrishna, who arrived in Mangalore for an on-the spot study of the incident and initiate further action, visited the homestay as authorities clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 cpc as a precautionary measure in the wake of planned protests by some organisations.
Gopalakrishna said police had been viewing the video clippings of the attack aired by private regional TV channels to identity the culprits all of whom would be nabbed.
Several activists of Hindu Jagarana Vedike were taken into custody in Mangalore when they staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office condemning the arrests of the outfit’s members.
The protestors justified the attack on the girls and boys at the homestay, saying it was to “protect culture”. Mangalore Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh said the home-stay was being operated without licence.
This is the second moral policing act in Mangalore district since 2009 when activists of little known Hindu outfit Sri Ramasene carried out an attack on a pub alleging that it was a hub of immoral activities, evoking a national outrage.
KPCC President G Parameshwara demanded a CID probe into the attack and accused the government of failure to main law and order and rein in the Sangh Parivar outfits.
Gopalakrishna also said that about 13 students, including a few girls, had gathered at the home stay at about 6 PM to celebrate the birthday of one of their friends.
Abour 15-20 persons led by a man suspected to be Hindu Jagaran Vedike activist raided the premises, assaulted the girls and boys, the ADGP said. Though police who rushed there wanted to bring out the students, the locals prevented it saying some immoral activities were being held there.
Police had to make mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd, he said.
The role of two TV channels staff including its reporters who were on the spot was also being verified, he said. “We are verifying their role whether they went for professional purpose or whether they also actively participated in it,” he said.
The action of mediapersons who were reportedly sounded by those who had raided the premises in shooting the incident without intervening and telecasting the visuals had also come under sharp criticism from various quarters including women organisations.
Cases under 13 sections of IPC besides under the Karnataka Prevention of Destruction of Private Property Act had been booked against those who attacked the homestay, he said.
Replying to a query over the role of mediapersons, he said “it is the duty of every citizen to inform police about such incidents”.
Gopalkrishna said no police complaint had been lodged by the victims or their parents. Replying to a query, he said the attack was a stray case. “The Mangalore pub attack incident took place in 2009. This incident took place after three years,” he said.
The ADGP also said strict action would be taken against officials who failed to take prompt action against the assailants.