Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said here on Monday that stern action had been initiated against the offenders in the attack against the youth who were participating in a birthday party at Mangalore on Saturday, and that the cases registered against the culprits should prove to be a deterrent for the recurrence of such incidents.

He was replying to a marathon discussion in the Legislative Assembly with almost all the legislators representing the constituencies in Dakshina Kannada, apart from the senior leaders of all political parties, voicing their concern over what they termed as a grave incident which had sullied the name of the State.

The members of the Opposition led by Siddaramaiah, unhappy with the reply of the government staged a walkout. The demand of the Opposition was that the police should register cases under the Anti-Goonda Act by virtue of which the culprits cannot obtain bail for a minimum period of one year. The other important demand was that the government promulgate a ban on organisations such as the Bajrang Dal, Sri Rama Sene and the Hindu Jagaran Vedike on the ground that they disturbed religious harmony.

Mr. Shettar and Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who also holds the Home portfolio, assured the Legislative Assembly that the action that has been initiated against the culprits would positively serve as a deterrent and adequate police personnel had been posted in Mangalore and adjoining areas to prevent violence. The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Penal Code that had been invoked against the offenders would entail punishment of not less than five years and the investigation would be foolproof to prevent the culprits to escape from the clutches of law.

Mr. Ashok said investigations had so far revealed that the local councillor (Mohan Padil) of the Mangalore City Municipal Corporation was not involved in the attack and he was at the resort after nearly 300 people laid siege to the place after reports of a “rave party” spread in the area. In an effort to prevent deterioration in the law and order, the police took him to a nearby police station and he was let off subsequently. “Eight of the culprits were arrested the same night and four others the following day, based on video footage. The police are on the look out for the others involved in the incident”. Action will also be initiated against the personnel of a private television channel on charges of abetting the crime.

Vasanth Bangera, Congress legislator representing the Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada district, said there “is no administration visible in the district and the bureaucracy, particularly the police are directly under the control of the ruling party and its associate organisations”.

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