The suicide of an 18-year-old girl, allegedly because of narcotics withdrawal, has led to a series of protests on Monday with groups such as Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Jagrana Vedike legitimising attacks on the youths holding party as a means to stop drug abuse.

Satyajit Surathkal, district convenor for the vedike, told presspersons in Mangalore on Monday that although the assault on a boarding home on July 28 in Padil in the city yielded “no drugs”, the organisation believed that drugs were available in parties such as that where “DJs were present”. The group claimed the girl was first exposed to drugs during “DJ parties”.

Further defending the assault on the boarding home, Mr. Surathkal said the party there had hired a DJ, and that boys often lured girls in the “name of love” and then introduced them to drugs. “Though the assault did not yield drugs, it is through parties that girls and boys get hooked to drugs,” he said.

This sentiment is echoed by the Bajrang Dal, which was behind the raid on an ice-cream parlour where they suspected students of smoking marijuana. A member had then claimed it was through interaction in parties that girls “fell into trap of drugs”.

Mr. Surathkal urged police to crackdown on the menace and said the Vedike planned a series of protests against the drug mafia after the July 28 attack but had to defer it as “their members had not gotten bail”, a reference to 35 persons – excluding the two journalists – who were arrested after the assault.

Slamming the attempts to justify what was a ruthless assault on girls and boys, Vidya Dinker of the Citizen’s Forum for Mangalore Development, said their statements were a “stretch” and exposed the “bankruptcy of ideas” among the groups.

“If young people take to drugs, it is because they feel a disconnect. Instead of using the danda to force them in a particular path, we should engage (with them). These groups need to be educated about culture and about dealing with the younger generation. There are better ways to build society,” she said.

Mangalore City Police Commissioner Manish Karbikar dismissed any links between moral policing incidents and drugs, even sardonically saying that “their attacks never seem to unearth drugs”.

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