A day after a Kerala legislator's daughter and her friend were harassed in Karnataka's Mangalore town, allegedly by members of the Sri Rama Sene, Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) Kerala state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said the group was being backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Shruti, a Class 12 student of St. Aloysius College, and her classmate's brother Shabib were on their way to Mangalore from Kerala's Kasargod town when a group of men dragged them out of the bus. They were taken away in an autorickshaw and released after a few hours.
Shruti's father C.H. Kunhambu, a CPI-M legislator, blamed the Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sene for the attack but both groups have denied involvement.
"Didn't I tell you that they are dangerous and after I said this yesterday, our party legislator's daughter was literally kidnapped by them and held hostage for some time. This happened because she talked to a Muslim boy," Vijayan told reporters near Kozhikode.
"And adding to this is that Karnataka is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, which also helps support such activities. This is what will happen if the RSS is allowed to grow in any manner. The attitude of the RSS and the Sangh Parivar and their growth means that danger is lurking around the corner for the country," said Vijayan.
Meanwhile, Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan described the incident as "deplorable".
"I am trying to get in touch with the Karnataka home minister. There are a lot of Malayali students studying in places like Managalore and Bangalore. We want assurances from the Karnataka government that our students would be safe," said Balakrishnan at Kasargod.
Karnataka Police Saturday detained two people for questioning over the attack.
The attack came two weeks after Sri Rama Sene activists bashed up girls for going to a pub in Mangalore.