The Karnataka Police have arrested five men on Saturday for assaulting Shruthi, daughter of a CPI(M) legislator in Kerala, and her fellow passenger, Shabeeb, in Mangalore on Friday.
Shruthi, a pre-university student of Mangalore’s St Aloysius College and daughter of Mancheswaram legislator C.H. Kunhambu, was hauled out of a private bus along with Shabeed, while on her way back from Kasargod in Kerala.
They were taken to a house a few km away, assaulted and released with a stern warning. Leaders of the Sri Rama Sene and Bajrang Dal denied any involvement in the episode.
IGP, western range, of the Karnataka Police A.M. Prasad said while three of the arrested were part of the crew of the bus, the others had been identified as Rajesh and Ranjeet — both from Mancheswaram, but employed in Mangalore. The sixth person, also from Mangalore, is still at large.
He said, “I believe they (the crew) had warned the girl a couple of times in the past not to talk to this boy because he is from another community. We are verifying their political affiliation.”
Kunhambu told Hindustan Times, “Who gave them the authority to punish my daughter and that boy? I knew that the conductor had alerted those boys.”
I’ll put a stop to it: CM
Meanwhile, in Nagpur, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa left the BJP conclave early to return home. He had to do some explaining to senior leaders, who wanted to know why such incidents were happening in Mangalore.
He said his government was beginning to see a conspiracy behind the attacks — first on women in a pub and then on the daughter of a CPI(M) legislator.
A shell-shocked Shruthi, who has returned home in Mancheswaram in north Kerala, said: “What really pained me is that nobody came to our help. It happened in broad daylight.”
“There shall be no more incidents from tomorrow,” Yeddurappa told HT as he left the Nagpur conclave venue.
(With inputs from Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram and Shekhar Iyer, Nagpur)