In yet another case that exposed the risk faced by inter-communal couples or groups of students in Mangaluru, a 22-year-old boy from Kasaragod, Kerala, along with two girl classmates belonging to different communities were allegedly confronted at a mall in the heart of the city by an unidentified group on Tuesday.
According to Mangaluru North police, the boy and his two classmates had come to the city for sightseeing. Having visited some places, the three students came to the City Centre mall at about 2 p.m. As they came out of the mall at about 3.30 p.m., a group of persons confronted the boy for moving around with two of his friends, one of whom belonged to a different community.
The police said they immediately intervened and took the three students away in a jeep. After taking them to a safe location, the three students were asked to narrate the incident and asked to file a complaint. But the three students refused to pursue the matter and wanted to get back to their home town. The students then left the city in a bus without filing any complaint.
The police said they would check closed-circuit television camera footage about the incident and take up the case. However, it is not clear why none of those in the group was picked up by the police for questioning and only the students were whisked away.
Police Commissioner S. Murugan told The Hindu that the students hade not been assaulted but they were confronted. “But we will talk to the students again and take the case forward.” Mr. Murugan said in this case, the police by acting swiftly had prevented a possible physical assault on the students. Ironically, the incident comes a day after Home Minister K.J. George reiterated that the government would deal sternly against “vigilante attacks” on young couples and students from different communities going out together. Mr. George, who was here on Monday, had termed such incidents as “rowdyism”.