K’taka: Cops accused of harassing woman activist’s family over filming in girls’ restrooms issue

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K’taka: Cops accused of harassing woman activist’s family over filming in girls’ restrooms issue

Bengaluru: The police in Karnataka have been accused of harassing a woman activist’s family after she raised her voice against the incident of the filming of Hindu girls by some Muslim female students in a college restroom.

The opposition BJP and Hindu groups in the southern state have criticised the police for “harassing the activist instead of initiating action against the Muslim girls who recorded the objectionable videos”.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal on Tuesday sought to know “if the police were sent to the residence of the woman activist to instil fear?”

“In a democracy, police harassment is given for speaking the truth, Udupi police, what is happening? DGP and IGP should initiate action against the district superintendent of police. If he wants to pursue politics, let him tender resignation and join politics,” Yatnal said.

Rashmi Samanth, the woman activist, reacting to the incident, posted on social media: “I’m from Udupi and nobody is talking about Alimatul Shafia, Shabanaz and Aliya who placed cameras in female toilets of their college to record hundreds of unsuspecting Hindu girls. Videos and photos were then circulated in community WhatsApp groups by the perpetrators.”

The post has gone viral and triggered a debate in the communally sensitive coastal Karnataka region.

The police have been accused of entering her house in the night on Monday and repeatedly questioning and torturing her family members.

Adhitya Srinivasan, counsel for Samanth, said, “At around 8 p.m. on Monday, a group of policemen visited the residence of Rashmi Samanth. As she was not at home at the time, it was her parents who were questioned by the police and repeatedly asked about Rashmi’s whereabouts.”

Yashpal Suvarna, a BJP legislator from Udupi, said, “I don’t know whether there is a video clipping or not, action must be initiated after taking suo moto case. The act of police going to Rashmi Samanth’s residence and torturing her family can’t be tolerated.”

Meanwhile, Udupi SP Hakay Akshay Machchindra clarified that since Rashmi Samanth had tweeted about the incident, her account had been inspected and the police spoke to her family members in this connection.

The incident of the three female students of a college belonging to a minority community being suspended for recording videos of Hindu girls in college restrooms was reported last week.

The incident took a communal turn with allegations surfacing of girls belonging to the minority religion recording personal videos in restrooms and sending them to male students.

It was also alleged that these male students, also belonging to the minority community, would go on to make the videos viral on social media.

According to sources, some Hindu girls also questioned the accused female students on the campus leading to an argument and confrontation.

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