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‘We’re too terrified to speak up’

A mother relives the horror her daughter went through in Mangalore, reports Purva Mehra.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2009 13:55 IST
Purva Mehra
Purva Mehra
Hindustan Times

My 21-year-old daughter is on a visit from Bangalore for her term break and met her school friends at Amnesia Lounge for lunch. This was possibly her second visit to Amnesia. There was no liquor being consumed at their table.

There was hip-hop music playing and the limited space at the lounge hardly permits any room for dancing.

Around 3 pm two mediapersons with cameras came through the door.

There were no more than a dozen patrons, mostly college students in small groups in the lounge at the time. My daughter had her back to the main door and couldn’t hear much else over the loud music.

Amnesia is quite selective about the kind of people allowed in and although 10-12 of the Sena members got through the door, the bouncers stalled a mob of around 30.

Once the boys charged in, they headed for the nearest table where my daughter and her friends were and started smashing the glasses. The ruffians yanked the girls from their tables and told them to get out. My daughter even got pushed but luckily not to the floor. There was no exit in sight as the main door was barricaded by the goons and their accomplices outside.

Meanwhile, the cashier came to the aid of my daughter and her friend and bundled them into a side office. Once in the room, they moved furniture against the door so that no one would enter. They crouched behind a table through the episode.

Every aspersion of obscenity and lewd dancing cast on these students is totally incorrect. The kids assumed that the cameramen who came in first were part of the mob attempting to gather evidence for their accusations.

The police were called subsequently but I fear the arrests are just a smokescreen. The ruffians will soon be back on the streets, escaping judgment and resuming their dirty deeds.

The only reason I have not made a noise about this is fear. I’m not usually one to stay quiet but my son is in college and these ruffians have their tentacles everywhere. We don’t want to disclose our identities because how can we as a family guard against these goondas?

My kids are petrified and my daughter is afraid even to take an auto rickshaw to ferry her around. It’s a shame because even though she doesn’t study her, this is her home.

There has to be severe action against these miscreants who are threatening our freedom.

(As told to Purva Mehra)

First Published: Jan 29, 2009 13:53 IST