The Opposition Congress in the Legislative Assembly on Monday termed the attack on young women and men in Mangalore by alleged activists of Hindu Jagarana Vedike as “most uncivilised act” and demanded resignation of Home Minister R Ashok, and registration of cases against the perpetrators under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who raised the issued during Zero Hour, demanded suspension of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police and other senior officials of the district who were responsible for the “shameful incident.”
The Janata Dal (Secular) demanded a CBI probe into the incident. The police inaction was the major reason for the ugly attack on girls, its leader H.D. Revanna said.
Noting that the former Home Minister the late M.V. Rama Rao tendered resignation in the House when the police committed atrocities against women in Madhugiri during the S. Nijalingappa government, Mr. Siddaramaiah told Mr. Ashok to follow the footsteps of the late Rama Rao.
Taking note of the reports published in The Hindu, the Congress leader said the police were mute spectators to the whole incident of molestation of girls at the Morning Mist Homestay in Mangalore. Activists of the Sri Rama Sene, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Bajrang Dal were behind attacks on churches, pubs and women in the coastal belt. “Why is the government not banning these organisations?” he asked.
Repeated attacks on women occurred owing to “soft attitude of the government” and some of the “activists are habitual offenders.” BJP councillor Mohan Padil was behind the attack on college girls when they were celebrating a birthday party of their friend, he alleged. “Are we not celebrating birthdays? Is there government in the State? Is there law and order?” he asked.
Young girls have been raped, molested, attacked in the name of Hindutva. “The accused are to be punished like the punishment given to the guilty in the Islamic countries.” Instead of taking action against offenders, the police have booked cases against innocent people, Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Earlier in the day, soon after the House met, Mr. Siddaramaiah sought to raise the matter and said moral policing and vigilante attacks had begun in the State only after the BJP came to power. “There have been a series of such incidents including the attack on a pub in January 2009”, he said.
“Who gave them the power to take law into their own hands? Are they above law?” Mr Siddaramaiah asked. “What is the action taken by the Government against such instances so far?” he sought to know.
Accusing the police of gross negligence, Mr. Siddaramaiah said law and order had completely collapsed in the State.
Later, T.B. .Jayachandra, K. Abhyachandra, K. Vasanth Bangera, Ramanath Rai and U.T. Khadar (all Congress) alleged that the attack was pre-planned and the police were hand-in-glove with the activists. Even though 50 activists were involved in the incident, the police arrested only eight persons, they said.