Police mull invoking of Goonda Act

A group of around 10 people assaulted two college students in Falnir for allegedly offering to drop two female classmates — one of them from a minority community — at their hostel recently.

Though the attack took place on the night of December 23, Atul Arvind (23), the complainant, said the “intense pain and shock” prevented him approaching the police. He filed the complaint at the Mangalore South Police Station on Thursday night.

According to the complaint, around 10.30 p.m., on December 23, Atul and his friend Avinash — both final year B.Sc. students of a city college — were headed for their car after seeing a movie when they saw the two classmates. Atul offered to drop them at their hostels. Even as they entered their car, a group of around 10 men surrounded the car, and dragged the two boys out of the car, said the police.

The men assaulted them, and warned them from talking to women from minority communities.

Though a case has been lodged, police are yet to make arrests.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner R. Hithendra said police were considering invoking of Goonda (The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum Grabbers) Act against members of some organisations that were trying to disturb peace in the city.

Mr. Hitendra’s statement comes in light of an extortion bid on two medical students and two incidents of attack on students from inter-faith communities. Rights activists, too, demanded stern action against people involved in such incidents.

Mr. Hithendra told The Hindu that some groups were trying to take law into their hands. “We are working on invoking the Goonda Act on some people who are involved in such acts. The process is laborious. We are in the process of invoking the Act.”

As per Section 5 of the Act, every person against whom the order has been passed will be detained in a place to prevent the person from committing a crime. The order is passed by the High Court Advisory Committee based on the report submitted by the Police Commissioner.

The Mangalore Police Commissionerate has succeeded in getting detention order against Pradeep Mendon, an alleged associate of underworld operative Ravi Poojary, in November. Mendon has been an accused in 14 criminal cases including murder of underworld operative Bejai Raja.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary Ivan D’souza at a press conference here on Friday said that he was for invoking Goonda Act provisions against persons involved in kidnapping and making sex videos of two medical students in Deralakatte. “There is no question of our party supporting persons arrested in this case. Stringent action needs to be taken against such accused persons,” he said.

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