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School students assaulted in ‘moral policing’ incident in Kerala

Video clip, shot by a tourist, shows a man thrashing one of the girls with a stick

September 21, 2022 09:52 pm | Updated 09:52 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

A video clip showing school students being shouted at and beaten in an alleged moral policing incident at a tourist spot in the district has sparked widespread outrage.

According to the police, the incident occurred at Vellanikkalpara, a popular tourist spot near Pothencode, on September 4. The students – four girls and two boys – were on a visit to the scenic location when they were stopped and verbally abused by a group of men, reportedly local residents.

The video clip, shot by another tourist, also shows a man thrashing one of the girls with a stick.

After the footage went viral and sparked an outcry, the police on Wednesday came out with a statement saying a case had been registered against one man on the same day in connection with the incident. He is currently out on bail. The police identified the accused as Manesh, hailing from Sreenarayanapuram, Pothencode.

Initially, he was charged under various IPC sections dealing with voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, punishment for wrongful restraint and uttering obscenities, which are bailable offences.

When contacted, M. K. Zulfiker, Additional Superintendent of Police (Thiruvananthapuram Rural), said Manesh will also be charged under Section 354 dealing with 'assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.'

According to Mr. Zulfiker, the video clip had emerged recently. Action would be taken against more persons, if needed, on the basis of further investigation, he added.

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