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‘Kidnap’ whodunnit: Left or Right?

There is a new twist to the tale of abduction and assault of Shruthi, a pre-university student in St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2009 00:33 IST
B.R. Srikanth

There is a new twist to the tale of abduction and assault of Shruthi, a pre-university student in St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, and daughter of Kerala CPM legislator C.H. Kunhambu, and fellow passenger Shabeeb: Satish, conductor of the private bus who was arrested along with four others on Saturday in connection with this episode, says the group consisted of members of CPM-DYFI (Democratic Youth Federation of India), and they whisked away the couple only as a warning against indecent behavior.

Such an admission has prompted Kunhambu to cry foul and dispute the claims of these men being members of CPM-DYFI.

It’s RSS, insists father

“These are goondas of RSS. I know Satish’s father (Kariappa Shetty) who is a Panchayat Board member in our area (Manjeswar). Satish has been an active member of RSS for the last decade. It is unfortunate that Karnataka police have caught four men from Manjeswar and only one from Mangalore. Why should they kidnap my daughter if they are from my place?” he told HT.

Satish made such an admission in the bail application when he and others were brought before a local judge in Mangalore last night. “It is not a case of kidnap and assault, but an act of warning for the girl and boy not to behave indecently in public,” was Satish’s plea according to Padma Prasad Hegde, the lawyer who represented them last night. “They were angered at the sight of seeing their MLA’s daughter go out frequently with this boy,” he said.

The CPM legislator said he would not seek a probe into the episode because he is certain these men are from Sangh Parivar. “I will ask my daughter to join some other college in Kerala after her exams (ongoing). Let me tell you that I studied Law at a college in Mangalore twenty years ago. It was not like this then. Now, the Sangh Parivar has gained control,” he said.

On their part, local police officers are yet to confirm the political connections of these men. “This is some mischief played by the group. I have asked the officers to find out the provocation. It is true that they admitted to warning the girl earlier that she should not go out with this boy,” says A M Prasad, IGP (Western Range).

Rama Sene warned

In the state capital and Mangalore, the police issued a veiled warning against Sri Rama Sene’s plans to create trouble on Valentine’s Day. In the coastal city, additional patrols and more forces would thwart any attempt by members of Sene on February 14th.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday asked Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury to stop making irresponsible statements on attack on women in Mangalore.

“Let her come and ascertain the facts. A probe is on and the truth will come out. Till then she should stop making comments on the state government. She has been making irresponsible statements” he told reporters in the state capital.