Hindu fundamentalists’ hand suspected in Mangalore outrage

A group of men barged into a homestay at Padil on the outskirts of Mangalore around 6 p.m. on Saturday and manhandled young men and women there.

Television channels telecast footage of a group of men, allegedly belonging to a Hindu fundamentalist group, forcibly entering a room at ‘Morning Mist’ and attacking some of those inside. At one point, a young man is seen pleading with the attackers that it is his birthday, but the attackers punch him in the abdomen. A woman is seen saying, “We did not do anything.” Another young woman is slapped by one of the attackers and she collapses. In another clip, two men are seen dragging a woman by her hands.

Bringing back memories of the infamous pub attacks here in 2009, the attackers reportedly claimed that a rave party was being held on the premises, and the party-goers had indulged in activities ‘unacceptable to Hindu culture.’

According to the police, the number of attackers is not known. It is said there were 13 people, including five women, in the room that was targeted.

The Mangalore Rural police have booked a case.

The police escorted the young men and women who were attacked from the spot and are on the lookout for the owner of the homestay.

Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda said preliminary information indicated that Hindutva organisations were involved, but no group has claimed responsibility. He said some persons were arrested. Such incidents brought a bad name to Mangalore and it was important to establish who was behind the attack.

Police Commissioner Seemant Kumar Singh, who visited the spot, refused to speak to the media. Television channels that were with the attackers should have prevented the incident, he said.

Ashok, a member of the Shanthinagar Badalagudda Residents’ Association, claimed the association had warned the homestay against holding parties late into the night.