Renuka sends official to probe pub attack

Karnataka Bureau

MANGALORE: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury has sent Kiran Chadha, Joint Secretary (Women Bureau) of the Ministry, here to inquire into January 24 attack on women at a local pub by Sri Ram Sene activists.

Ms. Chadha, who arrived here on Sunday, visited the pub and met several people, including officials and women.

Ms Chadha told journalists later that she would submit a report to the Minister on Monday.

“I met a lot of people, including women and priests. I do not want to disclose the identity of the women or divulge more information at this stage.” The women were “scared to move out of their houses during the day,” he said.

A team deputed by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to probe the attack was yet to submit its report to the Commission, she pointed out.

NCW report

NCW member Nirmala Venkatesh, who led a three-member inquiry team, said she would submit the team’s report to the Commission on Monday. Unfazed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s decision to send an official to investigate the case, she said it was “routine” and would have no bearing on her report.

Ms Venkatesh’s statements here stirred a controversy as she blamed the pub owner for failing to provide proper security to the women and recommended cancellation of its licence.

NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas had disagreed with Ms Venkatesh, stating that the NCW’s “primary concern is the victims of the attack.” She was irked because Ms Venkatesh and her team did not meet the victims here.

Muthalik statement

Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, who is lodged in the jail ward in the District Hospital at Madikere, said he would not relent until he achieved the goal of building a “Hindu rashtra.”

Speaking to presspersons, he said the Karnataka government should not buckle under pressure from the Opposition parties in the State and the Centre to order a crackdown on the Sene.

Mr. Muthalik was taken to Madikere on January 31 night.

He is wanted by the Kodagu police in connection with a charge sheet filed against him for delivering a provocative speech at a function in Gonicoppa of Virajpet taluk in Kodagu in 2003.

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