Letter and Preliminary Fact Finding Report handed over to the NWC on 16 August 2012
The Forum Against Atrocities On Women
Ananda Apartments, Vasanthi Complex
Kadri, Mangalore 575002
The Chairperson and Members
National Commission for Women
Sub: Investigation into the Home Stay Attack.
We are happy to know that the National Commission for Women, Delhi, has arrived in Mangalore to investigate into the Home Stay attack that took place on the 28th of July, 2012 at Mangalore. Prior to your visit the Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, Karnataka, had already visited Mangalore and prepared a report on this event and presented it to the Government of Karnataka. We are extremely unhappy with this report because we feel it is biased and not based on proper investigations.
The report was prepared without meeting all the victims of the attack and without taking into consideration their grievances. In addition there has been a deliberate attempt in the report to slander both the victims as well as their parents. Despite the police denying it, the report has stated that a rave party was taking place at the home stay. The report is deliberately trying to lead one astray with regard to the facts of the incident by creating and highlighting certain false information about the event and glossing over what actually happened at the home stay on that day. Hence we condemn this report and request you to prepare a new report on the basis of a proper investigation into the matter and with the intention of providing justice to the victims of the attack.
In this context the members of various womens organizations, as well those concerned with womens issues have come together and prepared a primary report on the incident after having met the victims, their parents and some of the journalists who were present at the scene of the event. We would like to submit this report of ours to you as supportive material for your own further investigations.
We request you to rescind the report that has already been submitted to the Karnataka Government by the State Commission for Women and order for a new report to be prepared based on a proper and just investigation of the incident.
Sabiha Bhoomigowda Vidya Dinker Parinitha Shetty Gulabi Bilimale
Fact finding report of the forum against arocities on women
On the evening of 28]07]2012, members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike attacked the homestay called Morning Mist located in Padil, Mangalore city. Deliberately targeting the girls and boys who were celebrating a birthday party at the home stay, the members of the Vedike, thrashed, tore the clothes and inhumanly molested the boys and girls. This event was not only disseminated in various national media but has also become the topic of debate both nationally and internationally.
In this context the members of various womenfs organizations, as well those concerned with womenfs issues organized a meeting in Mangalore. In this meeting the participants expressed concern over the fact that though such events had been regularly occurring here in recent times, they were not coming into public focus and were being hushed up. A detailed discussion took place as to how to prevent such events from recurring in future. Among the many suggestions that came up at the meeting the one that was found acceptable was that, before taking up long term steps it was necessary to prepare a fact finding report on the incident at hand.
Since the place where the incident took place, that is Padil, is a railway junction and since the Mangalore Bangalore highway runs through Padil, it is well known to everybody. Padil comes within the jurisdiction of the City Corporation of Mangalore and this particular guesthouse/homestay called Morning Mist is located within ward no. 51 (Padil North) of the city. It is 4 kms away from Kadri which is the heart of the city. Morning Mist is about a km in from the main road. 5 girls and 8 boys were celebrating a birthday there on 28]07]2012. At 7 ofclock in the evening men belonging to the Hindu Jagarana Vedika attacked them.
When the members of the fact finding committee met the victims of the attack and members of their family this was the information they gathered.
When we examine the information that was collected by the fact finding committee we notice that two birthdays were being celebrated that day. It appears that when the attack took place the celebration of the girlsf birthday party had almost come to an end and their parents were getting ready to come and pick their children. The boysf birthday party was to start in a short while. We learnt that some of the friends of the boy celebrating his birthday were on their way to the party at that time. What follows are accounts of the event in their own words as told to us.
Vijay Kumar ( The boy who was celebrating his birthday)
I am Vijay Kumar. I have been living in Urwa for 23 years. I am an event organizer. I make all the arrangements necessary for a party and provide the music. On that day we did not have the intention of organizing a party. I did not have so much money with me. A girl I know who had her birthday on the same day said to me, gI will host the party. You can share the place with me.h She said, gI will have my party from afternoon to evening, you can celebrate your party in the night.h On that Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. we went and hired the place. They said, gYou will have to pay Rs 5000 as the rent for a day and also a deposit of Rs.1000. We will give you the receipt and return Rs.1000 tomorrow. She said, gLet us share this rent.h At around 2 p.m. we went to Padil. The workers made all the arrangements for us. Till around 3 or 4 p.m. we spent our time talking. We finished cutting the cake. Then we went home cooked some chicken and returned at 5p.m. I kept the cold drinks and the chicken in the fridge and went upstairs to the bathroom to freshen up. Since we did not have drinking water Guru went out to get some water. At that time I heard loud noises downstairs. The girls were screaming in confusion. I came outside. All of them were hitting the girls. By the time I started climbing downstairs, around 5 or 6 people were behind me. I ran upstairs and closed the door behind me. They broke open the door, pulled me out, stamped me, pulled off my tee shirt and gave me a good beating. Then they brought me down.
All this is not shown in the video. Even downstairs they gave me a good beating. I said, gThis is my and her birthday. This is not a rave party.h They said, gyou are celebrating a rave partyh and started abusing me using bad words. They pulled off the girlsf clothes and fingered their bodies.
The camera man was familiar by sight. I asked him, gDonft you know me?h He did not say anything. 3 or 4 more people came and started beating me. gDo you need only girls to celebrate your party?h they asked me. They locked me in the room to the right and took photographs of me. The girlsf dresses were torn. I did not have my tee shirt. They made me sit on the bed and took photographs of me. Till then no policemen had arrived there. For 10 to 15 minutes they had been beating us. Then the policemen arrived and told us, gYou neednft feel any tension, we are with you.h Then they started giving us protection. Then they took our address and started their investigation. They asked us, gWhat is there in the house?h We had only 5 to 6 Beers and some chicken.
Those who beat us also stole our things. They have stolen the chains of Guru, another friend of mine and one of the girls. They have given the girl celebrating her birthday a good beating and dragged her. They have scratched her leg with a blade. They have touched the girls all over. You might have seen a dark chap in a jacket. He is wearing the jacket of one of the girls. They have stolen my purse and the mobile and the gold of the girls. I can recognize them. I may be able to recognize most of them. I will be able to recognize Shubash Padil and Munna. There are a few others. I do not remember their names. The names given in the FIR are of those who were identified by the police after looking at the video. We too have given information. All the friends who live in my neighborhood have provided information. We were altogether 5 girls and 8 boys. Among the 8 boys two hid themselves in a room. They tried to call the police. The call went to Bangalore. So they called some friends and asked them to call the police. The girlsf parents had given them the deadline of 6 of clock to return home.
Is it wrong to have parties? Come to that, I have played as DJ at more than 15 parties organized by the Bajrang Dal. At our party we did not even play music. All of us were above 19 years of age. We were not even wearing indecent clothes. One of the girls was wearing a jacket and they pulled it off. The birthday
girl is in a state of shock.
When we went to the Pandeshwar Police Station on Sunday to give our statements the police scolded us very badly. Instead of comforting us they have abused us with bad words.
Gurudutt Kamath ( Vijay Kumarfs friend)
I had gone there at 2.30 p.m. for Vijayfs birthday and my friendfs birthday. The care taker had come there. After completing all the work in the house he went away. At around 3.30 p.m. after the cake had been cut, Vijay and I went out. My mummy had prepared chicken. We went to fetch it. We reached the home stay at 5 p.m. After keeping the food inside, we chatted and at around 6 p.m. I went to Padil to fetch some Bisleri water because we had no drinking water. When I returned the police jeep was also there. I went and asked what had happened. Suddenly 4 to 5 people caught hold of me. They pulled my chain and beat me up. gThat is my chainh I said. They shouted at me, gWhy do you need that chain? and took me inside. I didnft know what was happening. gSir he was in that partyh, they said. The police were there at that time. gYes, my friendfs party g, I said. When I went inside everyone was shouting, ghe is a muslim, he is a muslimh. gI am Gurudutt Kamathh I said, all the young people were crying inside. The inspector came, the commissioner also came. They took all our names. At around 7.30 p.m. they put us inside the van and took us to the police station. When they brought us outside the room the police asked us to cover our faces. gWe have not done anything wrong, we will not cover our faces. I said.
They abused me, forcibly made me cover my face and made me enter the van. We were in the police station till 1.30 a.m. in the night. They took us to Wenlock, put medicines on our wounds and sent us home.
When the police arrived the attackers were beating us. But the police did not catch them.
It was around 6.30 p.m. and we were chatting. My friend said, gAround 30]40 people are coming this way, they are carrying cameras. When we went to see who they were they started chasing us. We ran and hid in a room. We heard sounds of beating and shouts like, gBeat them, donft let them go.h They latched our room from outside. We called the police control room. The call went to Bangalore. It is a very long process. I cut the call, phoned my friend and asked him to call the police. I heard a girl crying, gDonft hit me. It is my birthday party.h I also heard the sound of beating. After half an hour the police came and opened our door. They kept us in a room. I did not see those who had been beating. After coming out, right in front of the police, the attackers asked us, gAre you Hindu or Muslim?h gI am Christianh I replied. The attackers had blades in their hands. When my friend raised his leg to protect himself his leg was hurt. At the police station they made us wait till 11 p.m. Then they asked us for our address and name.
Avron (A friend of the victim)
I would like to state what I witnessed on the Padil Morning Mist issue. I had been invited by my friend Vijay for his birthday party. I started off late from my home and I was also not sure about the place.However I was able to find it. When I went there I took some pepsi and coke with me for the party. When I had reached the place an alto car and a scorpio arrived there. Some people climbed out of the car but I did not know them. They did not look like they belonged to my friendsf group. I was a little alarmed when I saw them. They directly entered Morning Mist. By then I saw one of my friends come running from the house. He was so frightened that he dashed against the neighboring compound wall, jumped over it, hit against an Omni car and ran out of sight. In a short time (within three minutes) a police jeep arrived there and stopped by the gate of the house. There were five to six police men inside.The police jeep (car) had been shown the way by an YBX Yamaha black coloured bike. The bike was in front of the jeep. They stopped the car and entered the compound. The youth on the bike told them in Tulu, gThey are insideh and he entered Morning Mist. The police slowly, without any hurry,cwithout the hurry and anxiety normally shown by those who are going to rescue somebody, casually went and stood outside. Then they slowly entered the building.
I was outside the house, my friends were inside. I was scared and alarmed. But if they knew that I had come for the party that big group would attack me as well. I stood helplessly outside. After half an hour another group of police arrived in a Tavera. They too did not enter the house immediately to give their help. They were standing outside. Then they slowly entered the house.
The members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike who were inside the house came out once to shout cries of victory, Jai Jai! The police was also with them. The police was quiet as if they were supporting them.They were shouting as if they had won some victory. Then two more Police vehicles arrived there.Hearing their noise and shouts of victory the people of the neighborhood started gathering there. It was getting dark but I did not see any of my friends coming outside. But when the police commissioner arrived everyone there said eGive way, give wayf and led him inside. By then the Jagarana people inside started running helter skelter. I could not see them bringing my friends outside.
I did not see the police arresting anyone. I also did not see them taking action on anybody who was there. Then I climbed on my bike and went home. I felt bad about the fact that I could not help my friends who were inside.
The police did not seem to be either controlling those vedike people, nor did it seem to be regulating those over excited people. I did not see what was happening inside. To my eyes it seemed as if the police was supporting the Vedike people. Its very sad, very depressing.
Kumuda Kamath (Mother of Gurdutt Kamath)
Gurudutt is my son. That morning my son told me, gToday is Vijayfs birthday. He is holding a party and I am going to the party.h I gave my consent. I know my son very well. I know how I have brought him up.
He has completed his MBA. When he said that he is going to the party I said that I myself would drop him there. I myself went and dropped him at the party. I observed the situation there. There were girls there. The time was between two and two thirty p.m. I am not too sure as to the exact time. But those girls were wearing jackets and trousers. They were not dressed in the way the TV depicted them. Wasnft the girl who was slapped dressed in a proper manner? The girl who was wearing a red dress on TV had an overcoat when I saw her. The dress also had a strap which must have been cut or pulled by the
My son told me,h I will return by 7 or 7.30 p.m. At the most it might be 8 ofclock. By then we got the news. My son does not have the habit of taking drugs or alcohol, nor does he smoke cigarettes. He does not drink. I will vouch for that. That the girls were molested by the Jagarana Vedike, deeply grieves me. I have no tension with regard to my son. But I do not know what happened inside that building. I have no tension with regard to my son. He is a boy. But the fact that the girls were molested deeply pains me. All my sonfs friends are good people. All of them come from good families. Some of the friends are in business. Some are students] all are known to me. They come home and have tea. If I had met them only a few times I would not have known them well. But these are very good people.
When I went to the commissioner he said, gGoing to the media is your personal matter. But we will continue with the investigation. We will give you justice. We will definitely catch those attackers. They have done a big mistake.
The parents of all the children were there. They said,hWe must pursue this. The girls have not committed anything wrong.h I said, gIt is for your sake that we have appeared on TV. Mine is a boy. Appearing on TV created a lot of problems for us. I have no fear. Everyone has to die one day. Let me die for having done something good. I am not afraid of any accusations. I have not done anything wrong.h The opinion of others was also similar. gIf the girls are exposed to the public it will create problems. If necessary we will appear in public. Let us call the men from the newspapers and hold a meeting. We will not expose the children to the public. But we will comeh They said.
My son is a sports leader. He is a state level player of Basket ball. He has been given awards twice in RV College.
A Parent of the victim (Mother of Vijay Kumar)
I am an anganwadi teacher. Vijay is my second son. He has completed his PUC and is a DJ now. On that morning he went to the Marigudi temple and after returning he said to me,h I have to give a birthday party.h I asked him, gWhere?h He said gWe are celebrating it in a room booked in a househ. I agreed. You know that anganwadi people have a lot of work. In the evening when I was cooking an acquaintance came over and said, gLook, look, someone is hitting your son. It is better you go and get him released.h I went and switched on the TV. I saw my son being beaten. The person who had come said, g Aunty it is better if you go to the police station and get your son released.h I said,h Only if someone has done something wrong he can be punished. He has not done anything like that. He is saying that it is birthday. Yet they are hitting him.h I did not know what to do. When I tried to call him his phone was switched off. I called others. The calls were not reaching anyone. Under the force of the thrashing his mobile must have flown somewhere. As I was wondering what to do another son of mine came home. At the same time my son telephoned me. He said, gMummy do not worry. They have left us now. They hit me thinking that I was a Muslim.h
That morning their photo had appeared in the paper. The paper had written in praise of them appreciating their work as DJs. My son said that this has been done to spoil their names. Only I and my younger son were at home. It was late when my husband returned home. Someone gave him the news near Urwa Market. We could not go to the station. Finally he himself came home. Thinking that we would be frightened he did not tell us anything. But they had badly beaten him up.
On that day one of those girls also had a birthday. The girls had come to celebrate her birthday. They had booked the room from 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. They had finished their birthday celebrations. They were waiting to finish my sonfs birthday. In another 10 minutes they would have left the place. My son said, gThe girls would be there till 6 oclock, we will stay on for an hour longer and return home by eight o clock.h
Parent of victim] 2
Even last year she had gone somewhere and celebrated her birthday. This year too she said that she would celebrate it outside. I was not sure where. I had always taught her to live boldly. She is very daring.
That day a family friend telephoned me. I immediately ran to the police station. If anybody else had been in my place they would have hanged themselves.
She said that she had jumped from the balcony. There was a compound wall. She has jumped over that as well. She has jumped two or three compound walls. Then she ran down. They have dragged her and brought her inside. Her feet have been injured by the stubs of plants. She has been hurt in a hundred different places. I am trying to forget this. Everything is being done to save the BJP.
If anybody comes to your house bring it to our noticed, the Commissioner of Police has told us. The girls are all known to us. They are like innocent flowers. My daughter always tells the truth. Now she is going to college. She needs a little change. I have brought up my daughter to be open. The boys at the birthday party did not do anything to the girls. Everything was done by the Hindu Jagarane Vedike. Now we do not watch television. She faints every time the TV is switched on. When she hears the telephone she is frightened. Therefore I have disconnected the phone. Even now she is running a temperature.7
The birthday party of the girls was separate from that of the boys. My daughter has got 60 to 70 certificates. Such a talented girl has been beaten by men who have studied only up to the third or fourth standardcc.who gave them this authority? Even parents do not hit their children nowadays. I feel like giving up this religion. This kind of incident should not happen in future. If her life had been in danger, who would have been held responsible for it?
Parents of victim]3
She had gone to her friendfs birthday party. gGive her a gifth, I had said. She had telephoned from college and said, g I am not feeling well. I will not go to the party.h I had said, gIt is close to the college, finish the birthday party and come home. Otherwise she would have to go again on Monday to give her a gift. She agreed to that. She said that it would get over by 6.30 or 7 p.m. I said OK to that. We were waiting for her call. Her father was waiting with the car keys in his hand, watching cricket. By then we received a call from her friendfs house. gYour daughter, problem, problemh they said in fright,h Do you know anything?h By then someone else called and asked us to switch on TV9. We switched on the TV.
We were shocked. Our daughter had gone after having informed us. She had told us that she would return by 7p.m. gWhy should I have run away? I have not done anything wrongh she said. gThey were dragging back those who had run away. That is why I did not try to escape.h They have brought every one inside. She asked them what is happening. That is why they have slapped her. They tore off some of their jackets and did all sorts of things to them. The girl celebrating her birthday and my daughter were classmates in Sharadha college. That is why I insisted that my daughter should attend the birthday party even though she was not very keen on it.
The girl and the boy celebrating their birthdays are friends. My daughter returned home and said, gI have not done anything wrong. I cannot bear to see my fatherfs face. My brother is there for you, give me some poison.h
We have brought her up to be a bold person. We have taught her to observe the locality while travelling by auto. gIf anybody comes you should try to guess his intentions towards you.h This is how we have brought her up.
Because of the force of the slap her ears are still hurting. They have said that it needs four months care. The Doctors certificate says, g left ear mild to moderate conductive hearing loss.h She continues going to college. The entire college has supported her. She is comfortable in college. They have said that they are on her side. Her principal had even come home.
They will all definitely come out on bail. Everything is bail able. You must try for speedy trial. Children go to all sorts of places. We do not hit our children. Who are these people to hit our children? Is it cultured to undress somebody?
I have been working for a year for a Kannada news channel. I received Naveenfs call. He had no lights with him, so he called me. I took my light and camera and went to where he was. I too went inside. A girl was on one side. Another was chatting.
When the group came they started running in fear. One girl started screaming and running underground. I too ran. I couldnft see anything and I fell. I came up. There were about 25 people there. I do not know how many people were outside. They were dragging a boy from upstairs. He said that it was his birthday. g Is this the only place you found to celebrate your birthday?h they asked and started abusing him. gA girl has jumped downh, they were talking among themselves. They brought in a girl and said that she was the girl who had jumped down. They dragged her inside. When they were dragging her she fell over the steps. Another girlfs dress had fallen down. He was trying to make her show her face. She did not allow him to do that. They pushed her inside a room. There was a pillow and bed sheet
inside the room. Two of the girls held the pillow to their faces and one of the girls covered herself with the bed sheet. They pulled the bed sheet away. They also pulled away the pillow. Then one of them said gdo not trouble them in that manner.h I do not know who he was. When they were beating the girl I screamed gdonft beath. The girl fell under the impact of the beating. When she got up he pushed her saying gHow many times should you be told not to come here?h On the one hand I was feeling bad. On the other hand I was shooting it on camera. Naveen was outside. They brought those who had run to the left, those who were at the entrance and those who were inside, all together in a room. gThere are still others. Bring them all hereh they said.
Then the police arrived. The police caught two of the boys who had been beaten. Then I came outside. Mohan Padil came and said gA case will be filed against youh to the very boys who had been beaten. After that I did not go inside. In 15 minutes Ravish Nayak came inside. He was talking very casually. If he had spoken seriously they would have run away in fear. The police closed the door and beat those who had already been beaten up. The police did not touch any of the attackers. They closed the door and asked the attackers to go outside. Another of our cameramen and reporter arrived there. I followed them. The police did not try to arrest anybody.
Reporter, Kasturi news 24 (a Kannada news channel)
My statement before the Fact Finding Committee ] On the 28th of July, 2012, at 6.50p.m in the evening, a youth who is my news source called me. He is a resident of Padil. All that he told me was, gNaveenanna near the timber yard at Padil Junction around 30 men have gathered. I overheard them forcing someone to call someone else. They were asking the group members to keep their motorbikes ready. I think they are planning to attack the guest house located in the hill at Padil. I heard them saying eMuslim boys and Hindu girlsf.h I asked him to find out to which organization the men belonged. All he knew was that they belonged to some Hindu organization
though he was not sure as to which specific organization they belonged.
The immediate thought that crossed my mind was ] gShould I inform the police right away or not?,h I had no information as to which organization was making the attack. I also did not know who was going to be attacked for what reason, and the place at which the attack would take place. The information I had was very basic. If the members of the organization themselves had called me I could have informed the police. As I had been given the information by my news source I thought I would inform the police only after confirming it. Coming to this decision, a cameraman and I set off to the guest house at Padil on our bike.
In a very short time my cameraman and I reached the guest house/ home stay named Morning Mist located on the hill in Padil. None of the assailants were present at the spot then. We stood outside for five minutes unable to understand why anyone would plan to attack that particular Home Stay which is located half a kilometer away from the Highway cutting through Padil. The building is surrounded by a tall compound wall on all four sides. It has only one gate and the bungalow is located about sixty meters in from the gate. I stood near the gate and scanned the bungalow and its premises. There was nothing happening there and there seemed to be no reason for an attack. A girl was sitting outside on a chair in the veranda and two boys were standing at another corner absorbed in playing on their mobiles. They were not indulging in any activity which could be considered illegal. There was nothing there which could provide a reason for the assailants to attack. That is the reason why even at that point of time I did not think it was necessary to inform the police. If the information I had received was wrong then I would be giving this wrong information to the entire police force. It might also lead to the harassment of those within the home stay, by the police. It was because of these doubts that I did not contact the police at that time. As I was thinking of these things I saw a group of over 30 people marching towards the Home Stay. It was around 7.05 p.m. at that time (We did not record it on our camera). Out of curiosity I asked them, in Tulu, gWhat is the matter? What is happening here?h Immediately one of the youth replied gMuslim men have brought our Hindu girls to this place. We should not let them go scot free.h I asked, gAre you from the Sri Ram Sene?h. They replied, g No, we are from the Hindu Jagarane Vedike.h By this time some of the other young men in the group were pointing to the girl sitting outside and saying, gLook there is the girl and there are the guysch. Saying this they started running towards the girl readying themselves for attack. The girl, who realized that the group was going to attack her, ran inside the bungalow and tried to close the door unsuccessfully for the group of around 30 had managed to run to the door and open it before the girl could close it completely. The time was exactly 7.12:38.
At that point I became fully alert. Immediately I made a call, from my official number (+91]9972570044), to Ravish Nayak, Inspector, Mangalore (Rural) on his number +91]948085330. That must have been around 19:15 hrs but Ravish Nayak did not receive my call. The assault had just begun. Not knowing what was happening the girls started running helter skelter in fear failing to make any sense of the situation. The police personnel were not receiving the calls that I was making. Not knowing what else to do I asked my friend Rajesh Rao, correspondent of TV]9 to call police Inspector Ravish Nayak (However Ravish Nayak did not receive the call made by Rajesh Rao also.)
While I was trying to get in touch with the police inspector the cameraman had started running behind the assailants and recording the action. By then we were joined by the cameraman of a local TV Channel, Sahaya TV, named Sharan and a photographer named Vinay Krishna. I was a mute witness to all that was happening there feeling the guilt of not being able to do anything. Over 50 per cent of the assailants had consumed alcohol and were clearly not in a position to listen to anything that I said. Many types of violence might have been perpetrated in this world. But never in my life had I seen such violence. My cameraman was running wherever the group was attacking individuals. I was watching it and screaming and requesting, gdonft hit the girls.h My request could only be recorded by the camera but could not touch the hearts of the assailants. The boys who were attacked were pleading, gPlease leave us. We are only celebrating a birthday party, Pleasech and were falling at the feet of the assailants. But the minds of the cruel assailants did not melt. If it were to be limited to just this, probably I could have forgotten the incident. But I saw something more disgusting and more horrible. The girls who saw four of the boys being trashed were shocked at the sight and ran in all directions.
Some of the assailants started chasing these girls inside the bungalow. You may not believe me but one of the girls jumped down from the first floor. She was caught by nearly 20 assailants who began to pull off her clothes. They slapped her and pushed her to the wall. By then another girl started running. The assailants who caught her literally stripped her. Leaving her with only one piece of clothing the assailants deliberately molested her body. This sight sent a chill down my spine. Never in my life had I seen something as horrific as this, though I had heard of such things. These scenes could not be made into visuals for the news. Very little of what happened there could be shot on camera. However, the way the assailants were manhandling the girls, if the news cameras were not present I shudder to think how much further they would have gone. Some of the assailants were shooting the rampage with their mobile phones. Afterwards all the boys and girls partying in the house were locked inside one room. All this happened at lightning speed. At the most it must have taken about 15 minutes.
Shocked by the events inside, I had stepped out for a breather. I saw Mohan Padil, the area Corporator talking to others in the group of aggressors in the compound, right in front of the house. After the assailants had completed one stage of their planned action, Police Inspector Ravish Nayak, Police Sub Inspector Munikantha Neelaswamy and their police constables arrived at the spot. The time then was 7.25 p.m. Whenever the police is called to attend to a group that is unruly it arrives carrying lathis. But this group of policemen did not carry a single lathi. It appeared as though the police had had previous contact with the assailants. For over half an hour the police were immersed in conversation with the assailants. I was surprised that the policemen instead of arresting the attackers were conversing with
them. Even the Corporator Mohan Padil was part of the group, apparently taking pride in the actions of the assailants. While they were conversing, one of the boys who had been present at the party tried to escape but was caught by the police. The assailants thrashed this boy in the presence of the police. By then many more cameramen had arrived at the spot. My cameraman and I returned to the office and uplinked all the visuals to the Bangalore office. At 7:45 p.m., the visuals were ready and the news was aired. Within no time the visuals on our channel were being aired by national channels and thus the incident became national news. Angered by this, the cityfs Commissioner of Police Seemanth Kumar Singh called my friend Rajesh Rao of the channel TV]9 who then was with me. Rajesh put the call on loud speaker and I could hear what Seemanth Kumar Singh was saying, gWhy should Naveen report the incident? Doesnft he have sisters? Does he not hit them? Does anyone show that on TV. I will teach him a lesson. He has said that there is Taliban culture in Mangalore. He compared this incident to the Assam incident. This time I will not leave him. We will fix him. He may have any number of influential friends. But I will definitely fix him.h It was clear from the words of Seemanth Kumar that to him there was nothing wrong about attacking the boys and girls but recording it on camera and reporting it was a crime.
On the morning of July 30th I received yet another shock. Those whom I tried to support through my reporting had given statements against me at the Mangalore Rural Police Station. I knew for sure that the boys and girls who had been attacked had not given those statements out of their own volition. I believe that the boys and girls had heard me requesting the assailants not to trash them. By evening my doubt was cleared. Speaking to the media the attacked boys and girls said, gWe havenft registered a complaint against the media. They have stood in our support.h
Mangalore (Rural) police has filed a case against me under the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The police have arrested many of the assailants with the help of our visuals. I firmly believe that we have reported a questionable incident but not questionable visuals. The 28 July incident at Mangalore is not a stray incident. Such events occur regularly every week. Fundamentalists not only attack a Muslim boy who is seen with a Hindu girl but also take them to the police station and give them up to the police after attacking them. The police call the parents of these `Loversf (friends) and warn them. Even in the case of this incident the same would have happened if we had not recorded it. Our recording has revealed the cruel face of those who are communal and has led to the arrest of many of the assailants. Regardless of what anyone might say and regardless of any case filed against me I believe I have done my duty as a reporter and given justice to my society. That is the only satisfaction, now, for my wounded mind.
While complaints have been filed against me and an FIR has been lodged against me, ] if the FIR lodged against me leads to the punishment of the cruel and bestial assailants then I will be happy. If I were to be liberated at the expense of some advantage to be conferred on the assailants then I do not want such liberation. No matter what punishment is given to the assailants it will never provide adequate justice to those girls who were assaulted right in front of my eyes. Yet the assailants need to be punished.
Together with meeting the victims of the home stay attack, their parents and some of the people belonging to the press, the Fact Finding Committee also visited the concerned police stationsf.
The police had not arrested the chief among the attackers, that is Subhash Padil and Ganesh, after the attack. This gave them the chance to try and admit themselves in the KMC hospital at Jyothi claiming that they were seriously injured when they realized that action will be taken by the authorities,. After conducting the necessary examinations the doctors had declared that they had sustained no injury and had discharged them from the hospital. We learnt that a large group of people gathered at the hospital and they created tense situation there putting pressure on the hospital authorities, attempting to compel them to admit these two persons in the hospital for egrievous injuriesf sustained.
The truths gleaned by the fact finding committee
1. The celebration at the home stay was only a birthday party. It is very clear that all the young men and women who had gathered there to celebrate the birthday party had come there with the permission of their parents.
2. It has been found that the attackers belong to the Hindu Jagarana Vedike. Not only have the attackers assaulted and abused the young men and women at the home stay, physically, sexually and mentally, later some of the supporters of the attackers have tried to malign the names and reputations of the victims and some of their parents.
3. All the young men and women who had gathered there are adults and some of them are employed.
4. The victims of the attack and the attackers are strangers to each other.
5. It is very clear that the attack was conducted under the assumption that Muslim and Hindu boys and girls had gathered together at the home stay.
6. It is very evident that the attackers have taken the law into their own hands without any formal complaint lodged with the police or any other concerned authority. They have attacked the home stay on their own accord and committed atrocities on the young men and women there.
7. During the attack the attackers have disheveled the clothes of the girls, beaten them up, herded together four girls and one boy in a bedroom and deliberately tried to portray them in such a way that the video recording would create a false impression in the minds of viewers.
8. The attackers have stolen the money, mobile phones and gold chains of the victims.
9. When media persons became aware of the nature of the incident and called the police, and when the victims of the attack called the police, they received no response from the police.
10. That the police men who were standing outside the home stay gave sufficient time to the attackers to carry out their attack is made clear from the report of eye witnesses. The victims of the attack as well as other eye witnesses have made it very clear that the police acted in a friendly manner towards the attackers instead of bringing them under control.
11. While the police made no arrests among the attackers, they took the victims to the police station under the pretext of protecting them, and abused them there with foul language.
12. When information about the attack reached the police they did not take women police personnel along with them to the scene of the attack.
13. Till the arrival of the Commissioner of Police there was no attempt to take any action against the attackers.
14. The police have not named the Hindu Jagarana Vedike in the FIR and have arrested the attackers as individuals.
15. When the Fact Finding Committee visited the police station on the morning of 29]07]2012 it found that the police had not followed set procedures with regard to the incident and had not generated any of the necessary records with regard to the victims.
16. Though Vijay Kumar was the complainant in the above case he had not been given a copy of the FIR.
17. The Corporator of Padil, Ward No 51 (Padil North) arrived on the scene of attack and put pressure on the police to arrest the victims instead of the attackers.
18. It has come to our notice that because the police failed to arrest the attackers immediately, the attackers could attempt at escaping arrest.
19. The victims of the attack have not yet recovered from the trauma of the attack.
20. There was no evidence at site to prove that a rave party was on at the home stay as it was portrayed by some sections of the media. All that was found there were some packets of food,and some bottles of beer and cold drinks.
21. It is very clear that some of the main accused in the pub attack at Mangalore in 2009, were the leaders of the home stay attack.
The demands of the fact finding committee
1. The attackers and their conspirators/instigators should be booked under charges of grievous offence and stringent action should be taken against them.
2. Those accused in the 2009 pub attack in Mangalore have still not been punished. Keeping this in mind, the present incident should be taken up for speedy trial. It must become possible to punish the accused within a time frame of a year of the incident.
3. To see that justice is granted, in such cases a special public prosecutor should be appointed.
4. When such acts of violence against women take place it should be mandatory for women police to be part of the police team on the spot. In the above mentioned case though there was enough time, no police woman was involved in the process of enquiry. This should be seriously looked into and suitable action should be taken.
5. All organizations that propagate violence or act violently against women should be banned.
6. A proper enquiry needs to be conducted into the slow response of the police to this attack and the questionable nature of the response. We demand that action be taken against those officials in the police responsible for this.