“I saw the men coming and jumped from the balcony, but they chased me and touched me in [inappropriate] places and dragged me back into the room,” Namitha (name changed) said, as she narrated her ordeal at the Morning Mist Homestay (a house rented out for parties) at Padil on the outskirts of the city on Saturday evening.
She told The Hindu that the attackers behaved like “animals”. When another girl asked the men why they were being targeted, the assaulters reportedly abused her and “one of them slapped me”.
The attackers, said a victim, removed the shirt of a man who was made to sit on a bed along with other women, apparently to project them in a poor light. Women said the attackers took away some of their valuables.
The Hindu Jagaran Vedike’s State convener Jagadish Karanth said at a press conference that his organisation was not behind the attack, nevertheless, defended it. Admitting that city coordinator of the vedike Subhash Padil was in the raiding party, he said this was the reaction by society against “immoral activities”.
He threatened that a ‘Janandolan’ (mass campaign) against activities opposed to Hindutva traditions would be launched. To begin with some pubs, spas, resorts, home stays and discotheques would be targeted as they “harboured prostitution and drugs”.
Bipin Gopalakrishna, ADGP Law and Order, said the vedike was responsible for the attack and that the eight persons arrested were its members. Amongst them was Mr. Padil.
The police booked cases under Section 18 1(a)(b) of unlawful activities prevention act, 1967 and IPC Sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation, assault and dacoity against 27 persons, including the reporter and cameraman who were present and filmed the attack.
The police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of Cr.PC. as a preventive measure, but it was seen by groups such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India as an attempt to scuttle the voices protest.
The All-College Students’ Union called for a college bandh in Mangalore taluk on Monday, condemning Saturday’s attack saying it had created an atmosphere of fear among students which could affect their future adversely.
State women’s Commission Chairperson C. Manjula said in Bangalore that she had sought a report on the incident from the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development.
The officer had been asked to speak to the victims and include their version in the report.