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'Moral police' attack Mangalore pub

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | January 26, 2009 22:51 IST

The Karnataka police have picked up 17 persons in connection with the incident in which a pub was attacked and girls assaulted allegedly by members of the Shri Rama Sena on Saturday evening. Cases of assault have been booked against all the persons who have been arrested.

Superintendent of Police, Mangalore, Sateesh Kumar said that a special team has been constituted and a look out for more members of the Sena is on. He said that the police are on the look out for Dinakar Shetty and Prasad Attavar, two key members of the Sena.

The Inspector General (Western Range) said that they are exploring the possibility of booking the members under the Goonda Act. Apart from this notices have also been issued to media houses who are being blamed for filming the incident and not informing the police despite having prior information.

There has been a mixed reaction to this incident in the state of Karnataka. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa assured of stringent action against the culprits. He also said that a free hand has been given to the police to deal with the culprits. He said that none had the right to take law into their own hands and termed the entire incident as unfortunate. He also informed that the national president of the BJP, Rajnath Singh would be coming down to Karnataka to assess the situation.

State police chief, R Shreekumar said that the media was to blame since it did not inform the police despite knowing well in advance that such an incident would take place. He also added that the police would make a breakthrough in the case by picking up the two key persons of the Sena.

The founder of the Shrirama Sena, Pramod Muthalik however justified the actions of the activists while saying that they were trying to protect the women against immoral activities. He also termed the incident as a small one while adding that it had been blown out of proportion.

Although there were no further incidents reported, security has been tightened in Mangalore. Normal life has not been affected and people went about their work as usual.

On Saturday, a 40 member team allegedly of the Shri Rama Sena attacked a pub on Balmatta Road in Mangalore and assaulted two girls. The Shriram Sena justified the incident by stating that this was a spontaneous reaction against those girls who flouted the traditional Indian norms and levels of decency.

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