Home-Stay Attack-A Year Gone By ! Where’s the Justice for Victims? Why Moral Policing Still On?

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Mangalore: “The attack on boys and girls is condemnable. I will discuss this issue with the human rights commission to take strict action against the culprits. It is a great insult to the democracy, such incidents should not have happened and should never happen in future”- Union minister Oscar Fernandes

“I have always been fighting for the rights of women. If a girl wears any kind of dress or joins in a revelry no one has the right to insult her or assault. What is HJV and who are they to take law in their hands? The BJP government has utterly failed, their own people are responsible for creating mess in the society. Their activists are creating fear in the minds of the people, efficient officers have been transferred for the benefit of the politicians and the Lokayukta has become weak” – Senior Congress leader Janardhan Poojary

“I hate the Taliban type behaviour. Whatever happened at the Morning Mist resort is completely wrong. No one has the right to enter any body’s house without permission and forcibly assault the girls. It is a inhumane act and we cannot tolerate such acts”- District Minister In-Charge (during BJP Govt) C T Ravi

“Being a responsible Minister C T Ravi  finally realized that this act is like a “Taliban Act”. The district administration must take strict action against the culprits and expel them from the District. If the Vedike is assaulting the innocent women in the name of Hindu culture and religion then it is a shame to Hindu community”- Late Bondala Jaganath Shetty, Former Congress Youth President.

” HJV is not involved in such activities. This is a pre-planned attack to spoil the image of the Vedike. Yes, Subhash Padil is the resident of the area, and he is a Vedike member too. But while he was involved in the assault he was not representing the Vedike, but participating as a resident protester along with other neighbours, near the resort” – Hindu Jagarana Vedike State Convener Jagadish Karant

“The prime duty of the women commission is to give protection. The girls who were assaulted need not worry, they will get justice soon. I will see that the culprits are arrested soon, and severely punished, and also will see that girls get complete protection in college”- C Manjula – Chief, State Women Commission.

“This Mangalore incident has brought shame to everybody, this attack seems just like the molestation of a girl in Guwahati by a gang. I will issue notices to the Home Department, Home Secretary, Chief Secretary and Mangalore Police Commissioner, to give me complete details and files within 2 weeks”- Vikramajit Sen – Chief Justice, Karnataka High Court.

“We will not allow anyone to defame our culture. We are not the descendants of the queen of London, but we are the descendants of Rani Abbakka. In the name of birthday party, prostitution was going on there, and when people who were trying to stop it were arrested by the police” – Prasanna Ravi, Convener – Dist. Jagarana Hindu Mahila Vedike .

“They created a needless racket calling it a ‘rave’ party. They don’t even know what a ‘rave’ party is and what it means. We did not have any prohibited stuff around. We were not at fault nor were we indulging in anything illegal. Hence we had not apprehended or expected such an attack. The attackers simply thrashed us, the girls were groped and dragged by the hair- the assailants were nothing short of being dacoits. They had robbed them of their money, gold and mobile phones also. By the time the participants of the party could recover from the sudden attack, everything had got over and the goons had fled. Now I got to know what merciless goons are like”- a victim of the attack

“Today Mangalore is famous not only in the country but in the entire world for the wrong reasons. Some elements from the so called organizations are taking law in their own hands and disturbing the peace in the society. One should understand how to behave in today’s civilized society. No one has the right to force others to follow their ways living in the society, it is his/her choice and we all have the right to live our life. Attack on innocent young people is a cowardly act and the guilty should be punished so that such acts will never repeat again. We must not rest until the culprits are severely punished and justice done to the girls and boys who were assaulted. – Fr Swebert D’Silva-Principal, St Aloysius College

Mangalore: The ‘Saturday Night Fever’ on July 28, 2012 turned out to be a ‘Saturday Night Shiver’, when a bunch of youngsters who were on a revelry mood celebrating the birthday of one of their mates, were attacked by a gang of goons belonging to a Sangh Parivar – it was indeed a fateful and horror full night, a nightmare which many of the victims still remember even after a year has gone by. And, even though lot of politicians, community leaders and social organizations have raised their voices in bringing justice to the victims, but as of today no justice has been served. Even for that matter, moral policing is still going on, where we have seen and heard of few incidents of moral policing lately. Since we have change in state governance, why then the delay in bringing justice to the victims? Why can’t the new government put a ban on moral policing?
Although a year has passed since the incident took place, its grim images still remain fresh in the minds of many people. The fair name of our city got sullied by the brutal attacks on the students that took place on that fateful Saturday night. This atrocity, committed by vandals claiming allegiance to some sectarian outfits, has been committed in the name of protecting our culture. Citizens were shocked and appalled at the brazen manner in which this was orchestrated. While we can commend the authorities on having acted swiftly to nab the perpetrators, and at the same time, we need to urge them to impose the severest possible penalty on the miscreants, so that no future attacks of this nature occur.

The attacks seem to be a ,part of a pattern and not a one-off incident. This city witnessed a communal disturbance in September 2006, followed by an attack on a place of worship in September 2008. The pub attack on young women in January 2009 was disgraceful in every respect. Some of the accused in this incident were earlier indicted in this infamous pub attack of 2009. This July 2012 incident has shocked the social fabric of this district.

Each time some vandalism takes place, the perpetrators hide behind the banner of some front organisation, claiming the attack was performed at their behest, which the outfit promptly denies. The concerned authorities and law enforcement department should register all such organisations with the Police Department and demand an updated members list regularly with names and photographs of the members, so that the organisations cannot deny the involvement of their cadres.

It is also seen that there is an effort to deflect attention from the core issue of the brutal attack and the real culprits by maligning the poor victims themselves – as we have seen in the statements of Karnataka State Women’s Commission claiming that the police have not done their duty and showing that the perpetrators of the crime are actually doing moral policing. Looking at the nature of the attack, one can easily say more than moral policing, it was simply hooliganism and terror tactics.

These incidents over the last six years have adversely affected the inflow of Investors, Tourists, Students seeking higher education which has severely affected the growth of Educational Institutions, IT industries, Hospitals and Nursing Homes, Hotels and the Building and Real Estate Industry in this region. Out of town parents are very reluctant to send their children for higher studies here, due to constant moral policing and Sangh Parivar atrocities.

And the funny part of all these attacks is that the ‘moral police’ inform a couple of media/TV personnel well in advance so that their acts are covered live on TV channels. Bah humbug! These goons either belong to saffron outfits like Rama Sena, Bajrang Dal or Hindu Jagarana Vedike, and more over these moral police not only claim responsibility, but also justify their acts. Sad part is that even some politicians belong to these outfits and involve in all these malicious acts, and they feel proud of their participation. What a society are we living in ?

The problem with these activists, they will not hesitate to assault people, molest and hurt women, vandalize property, destroy artistic expressions, separate mixed religion couples-in general, interfere violently to implement their hard line “Hindutva agenda”. The past BJP government stood by these groups and supported their activities, which is very well understood even by a common citizen. Now that a new government has been elected by the people who wanted a change, and who wanted protection from all these goondas are still waiting with their fingers crossed as to when the present government will be putting some restrictions on these saffron groups – the best thing would be -just ban all these groups.

The fascists were able to polarize the entire Dakhshina Kannada and Udupi, and were able to win electoral points. Now, they are politically crumbled, they no longer have effective leaders and hence on the brink of disaster. The goons they recruited and trained few years ago, are gone out of control. But every now and then, lately we have seen a few come out from the den and strike innocent people. That needs to be stopped by the present ruling party.

Silence is the greatest evil in troubled times. The only remedial measure is speaking out. All College Students and Boys and girls have to come out in open protest and mass demonstration. The assailants need to be punished severely and the justice has to be upheld. Remember, these are only the beginnings, and more of such things is due. It is a threat to Woman’s Liberty and we should all stand and defend it. We should make a fervent plea to the administration and police to put mechanisms in place where such incidents and other illegal acts of so-called moral policing are not committed again.

We believe that in a democracy, individuals must have the right to make informed choices, provided these choices are legal. No individual has the right to take law into his own hands or impose a cultural code on anybody else. If the police wish to enlist the help of civil society in any way, we should be prepared to assist them and fight in war against moral policing and brutal attacks on innocent women and young couples. Let’s join hands and fight to keep Mangalore free of ‘Moral Policing’ and other untoward incidents/attacks from hardcore activists.
I conclude this report, with a appeal that was made on 2 August 2012, by the management and students of St Agnes College, Mangalore –

“With reference to the barbaric incident that took place on Saturday the 28 July, 2012 in Morning Mist Home Stay at Padil, we, the Principal, Staff and Students of St Agnes College express our deep hurt at the cruel atrocities committed against women. In solidarity with the victims, we condemn this brutal act and we decry the so called custodians of culture and keepers of modesty for women to dictate terms in this secular democratic setup. We have our parents, teachers and elders in society who are genuinely concerned about the youth and continue to instill in us values and culture. We do not need uncultured and uncivilized hooligans playing the part of governance. We denounce strongly the violent acts of the self-interested moral police who spring up here and there, now and then in the name of Indian culture”.

“When Mangalore is an iconic and upcoming town, an educational hub and a progressive culture in itself, such incidents do not speak well of its people. We feel that our fundamental right to life is restricted and human rights are violated. Mangalore once considered a very forward and peaceful city, is now a name synonymous with fear, tension and disgust, especially among the youth and prospective students who would have wanted to study here. As students, we have the freedom to celebrate life and experience it in all grandeur. At this juncture we feel that this right has been transgressed”.

“This is an appeal to the society and the nation at large to help the youth fulfill their dreams in a peaceful atmosphere, devoid of any anti-social culture. If the authorities do not take stringent action against such hooliganism and at any time let them scot-free, we the youth, might lose our faith in the system of governance and be forced to question the meaning of freedom itself as we are only a fortnight away from the 65 year of our Independence!”

The day’s earlier report

The Arrest and after:

Homestay Assault – Full Coverage:

Author: Alfie DSouza- Illinois

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