Police on Sunday arrested eight of the nearly 50 suspected Hindu Jagran Vedike activists who beat up 13 students, including six girls, in a show of moral policing at a house in Mangalore a day before.
Vedike state chief Jagadish Karanth denied his outfit’s involvement in the attack, but supported moral policing to “protect culture” even as the ruling BJP said the culprits wouldn’t be spared.
Additional DGP Bipin Gopalakrishna identified those arrested as members of the Vedike.
Police have also registered cases against two local TV journalists who were present on the spot shooting the attack on the students, who were celebrating the birthdays of two friends.
“The police didn’t find any drugs from the spot. Some softdrink bottles, food packets and beer bottles were recovered. There is nothing to suggest it was a rave party,” said Gopalakrishna. He added that efforts were on to arrest all the culprits.
Amid growing public outrage, Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar said nobody would be allowed to break the law.
One of the students beaten up said, “The attackers claimed they were protecting culture, but were molesting the girls at the same time.”
The assaulted students are too rattled to lodge a police complaint or give out their names.
This is the second incident of moral policing in Mangalore after the January 2009 attack on a pub by the right-wing Sri Rama Sene.