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Rediff.com  » News » Girls manhandled: Mangalore divided in its response

Girls manhandled: Mangalore divided in its response

July 29, 2012 15:19 IST

Several protests in the city has forced the police to clamp Section 144, which prohibits unlawful assembly, in the city. Vicky Nanjappa reports

Mangalore is once again in the news and this time too for the wrong reason. In an ugly incident, a few girls were beaten up by the so-called moral police. While the last time it was the Shri Ram Sene that carried out the attack, this time a little-known group -- Hindu Jagran Vedike -- is responsible for the attack on women at a home stay on Saturday night.

The incident was bizarre in a lot of ways. Locals in Mangalore say that even if there was something illegal taking place, why did the group have to take television channels along instead of informing the police first. This gives the indication that it was a well planned attack.

The other big question that is being asked is why the girls were detained when they were the victims. Police sources say that they were detained so that they could be protected and also it was necessary to conduct tests to see whether they were taking drugs. However, the fact of the matter is that there was no complaint that was filed at the time the girls were detained
.

The reactions in Mangalore to this incident have been widespread and violent too. There are several protests that are taking place, which has forced the police to clamp Section 144 in the city.

The Congress has decided to take up the issue and has demanded that the girls be protected and released. They have staged protests in the city and also at the womens' police station in Pandeshwar. Moreover, they have been demanding that the activists of the Hindu Jagran Vedike do not get away.

However, there are also several protests in the city demanding that the activists who beat up the girls be released. They have been claiming that the girls were doing something illegal and if someone was trying to protect the culture of the land, they should be rewarded and not punished. The police have taken over 40 persons into custody in connection with the incident.

The police have their job cut out. Apart from maintaining law and order in the city, they are also conducting investigations into the incident. Seemanth Kumar Singh, the police commissioner of the city of Mangalore informed that they would be probing the home stay where the incident took place, since they found that it was running without a license.

Even as the police said that eight men involved in the incident were arrested, the state government has directed the additional director general of police to probe the incident. Home Minister R Ashoka said that they would launch a serious probe into the matter and the accused would be brought to book.
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore