Activists demand stringent against gang

Activists of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) hit the city road on Friday demanding stringent punishment against a gang which allegedly kidnapped two medical students, forced them to engage in sexual act which was filmed in Deralakatte.

As a part of their protest, students of Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Kadri Hills, blocked the busy KPT Circle on National Highway 66 for minutes.

On December 18, two students — a boy from Kerala and a girl from Bihar — were returning in a private car to their hostel when they were kidnapped by men brandishing crude weapons. The men allegedly filmed them after forcing them to engage in sexual acts. The police said the gang allegedly demanded Rs. 3 lakh for not making the video public, and kept the boy hostage for two days. The police have arrested eight persons in connection with the case.

The protesters said such incidents created an atmosphere of fear among the student community and would deter students from other states from coming to Mangalore to pursue higher education.

“The police should crack down on gangs that operate like this. The prosecution should be stringent and swift, such that it will serve a warning to those who even think of repeating acts like this,” said Chetan Padil, City Secretary, ABVP.

Meanwhile, activists of the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Jagran Vedike together staged a protest at Kuthar condemning the incident and seeking stringent action against those arrested.

The activists took out a motorcycle rally from Deralakatte – the place that houses many educational institutions – to Rajarajeshwari temple in Kuthar. The demonstration in front of the temple was led by the Vedike’s State Co-convenor Satyajeet Surathkal and Bajrang Dal Mangalore unit president Sharan Pumpwell.

Addressing the demonstrators, Mr. Satyajeet said he was surprised that the police, who acted swiftly in arresting the accused, did not accuse them of rape. The provisions under which the arrested persons were charged were not stringent enough for the gravity of the offence they committed, he said.

Mr. Satyajeet said activists, who raised their voice against the attack on young men and women in home stay, were silent over the attack on the medical students. While the arrested in a home stay case were booked under the Goonda (The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum Grabbers) Act, 1985, no such demand was being made by activists in this case.

Mr. Sharan and Rajashekaranandana Swami for Vajradehi Math also spoke. The traffic movement on the busy Konaje-Thokkottu Road was affected for nearly three hours. The police had a hard time in regulating the traffic movement.

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