Pics: Mohan Kuthar
Mangaluru, Jun 2 (IANS): One more person was apprehended in a moral policing case here on Friday, taking the total number of arrested to four and one minor detained, said the police, adding that murder and rioting charges have been filed, even as the Hindu workers are crying foul.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar Jain stated that an FIR was lodged regarding the case for rioting and attempt to murder under IPC Section 307. "Few more accused who are absconding need to be arrested and three special teams are hunting for them," he stated.
Police had earlier arrested three persons and detained a minor boy in connection with the moral policing case reported from Someshwara beach of Mangaluru city in Dakshina Kannada district.
The arrested were identified as Yathish, a resident of Bastipadpu in Ullal, Sachin and Suhas residents of Uchchila. The minor boy was their associate. All of them are Hindu activists and affiliated with a Hindu organisation, police said. The police nabbed Akhil, a resident of Talapady on Friday.
The accused had attacked three students, Jaffer Sharif, Mujeeb and Ashiq, who had come to the beach with their female friends on Thursday. The victims are students of a Para-Medical College in Mangaluru. The accused allegedly observed that students belonged to different religions and followed them.
They waylaid the students and asked for their names and addresses and allegedly assaulted both boys and girls. The victims suffered minor injuries and were admitted to a hospital. The female students shocked by the incident returned to their native places in Kerala state.
The attacked students lodged a complaint with the Ullal police and the police formed a special team to nab the accused. The incident had taken place on Thursday night.
Following the incident, the security was beefed up at the Someshwara beach and police patrolling has been scaled up in the region. Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar Jain is stationed in the Ullal police station and monitoring the investigation.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had stated that he won't tolerate incidents of moral policing in the state and gave a stern direction for the police to act strictly with such cases. The incident had taken place in the Ullal constituency represented by the Speaker of the Assembly, U.T. Khader.
BJP leader Satish Kumpala, leaders from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal visited the police station and questioned the police. They demanded that "innocent" Hindu activists should be released. Police Commissioner Kuldeep Jain assured them that if the arrested accused turned out to be innocent in the investigation, they would be released.
"The incident occurred after the Congress government assumed power in the state. The students belonging to different religions had come to the beach and behaved indecently at the sacred place of Hindus. The Hindu activists only questioned them on that. Though, questioning is wrong, one will get agitated if misbehaviour is found at religious places. The police department should also look into this. The arrest of innocents is not tenable. The incidents like this should not be encouraged," BJP leader Satish Kumpala stated.
"The police have assured that innocents would be released. It is not that they are our activists, we have come here when their family members have requested," he said.