The report compiled by C. Manjula, Chairperson of the Karnataka Women’s Commission, on the assault on college students at Morning Mist Homestay on July 28 has drawn flak for its “prejudiced” and “biased” views.

“Personally, I am horrified and disgusted by the report,” said F.T.R. Colaco, former Director-General of Police, who was speaking at a seminar on moral policing at St. Aloysius College here on Friday.

“The report does not mention the assaulters or their group; instead it finds fault with the victims themselves. Is it illegal to have a party,” he asked.

“The report says perhaps there were drugs at the party. She even talks about students being drunk, when investigation has shown that only a few bottles of beer were consumed,” he said.

Political appointment

The bias, Mr. Colaco said, stemmed from the fact that she had been appointed to the post by the government. “She is a functionary of the ruling party and probably shares the same ideology. She is not apolitical. Instead of protecting the rights of women, she is protecting the rights of the party,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, the assaulters who were “all hoodlums and anti-social elements”, had been emboldened as they had not been convicted for previous incidents of moral policing. “It is unfortunate that the victims do not want to file a criminal case and follow it to a logical end out of the fear that it might affect their future,” said Mr. Colaco.

Probing into the reasons for increasing incidence of moral policing, the former DGP said, “It is not a matter of religion. Moral policing occurs because religion has been mixed with politics.”

Changing culture

Speaking at the seminar, Swebert D’Silva S.J., Principal of St. Aloysius College, questioned the definition of ‘culture’ as propagated by the assaulters. “Are we still in 2000 B.C. and following everything written at that time? Culture is not static; it is dynamic and changes slowly. In this growing culture, people who moral police do not really know what culture is about,” he said. He faulted the law and order machinery, which had “not won the trust” of the people. “This wouldn’t have happened if the police and the government had worked well. If they had, people would have had confidence in them,” he said.