Mangalore: Home stay attack - A year passes by, but painful memories still linger

Mangalore: Home stay attack - A year passes by, but painful memories still linger

Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Jul 28: “Hakodchi anna birthday enna” (don’t hit me it is my birthday) – It is one year (July 28) since this dialogue became familiar to Mangaloreans and all over the country following the savage attack on a group of friends partying in “Morning Mist” home stay. Mangaloreans were shell-shocked to witness the scene of the savage attack on Vijay Kumar on their television sets repeatedly when he was celebrating his birthday on July 28, 2013 with a group of 12 of his friends consisting of boys and girls. Vijay and his group were taken aback by the sudden onslaught by the hooligans and he had to tell his attackers who thrashed him black and blue in chaste Tulu that it was his birthday celebration and they should not hit him.

But the goondas who attacked this group in the name of moral policing had other ideas. They attacked the boys and girls brutally, beat them up, molested the girls, sexually harassed them, looted their valuables and ransacked the home stay with vengeance. All this was captured in the camera by two TV journalists who were among the 44 accused for their complicity in the incident. It was their video on the TV that gave the general public a glimpse of the violence unleashed on youth on that fateful day, especially the brutal attack on unsuspecting girls.

A year has passed since the unsavory incident which further besmirched the cosmopolitan character of Mangalore. After the infamous pub attack of 2009 it was the attack on Morning Mist that made the entire nation sit up and take notice of the dreadful events unfolded in Mangalore. But more than that one even shudders to think the trauma and agony faced by the victims who were first hounded by the goons and then had to face the unwanted publicity when television sets showed clippings of the attack without camouflaging their faces.

Friends in need...

Now when Vijay is getting ready to celebrate yet another birthday today, July 28th, the events of the past one year are slowly unfolding in his mind like a movie slide. Though there were many victims, it is only Vijay Kumar and his friend Gurudatt Kamath, another victim, who came out in the open and file a complaint against their attackers braving the public humiliation that came with it. Both Vijay and Gurudatt are saddened by the refusal of other victim friends of theirs to come forward and file a complaint. Rather they chose to hide their identity from the media glare fearing for their reputation.

So is Vijay going to celebrate his birthday in style this year too? “I had organized the party to my friends and these friends refused to stand by me when we needed their support and cooperation. So this year I am going to party but with my friends who stood by me in my hour of tribulation in my own home”, says Vijay Kumar who faced the major assault from the attackers. Vijay says that some NGOs helped him in his fight for justice but a few who promised all help ditched him half way through.

Gurudatt Kamath, another victim of the attack also pointed out that past is past and Vijay and he are going ahead with their day to day lives as they have suffered enough. On further probing he revealed that he was disheartened by the volte-face of their friends. “We had decided to come out in the open facing all sorts of mortification because we believe that this should not happen to others. We did not want other boys and girls to go through what we faced. We tried our best but we cannot force others to fall in line”, he says.

Both Vijay and Gurudatt faced lot of problems ever since they went public when they filed the complaint against their attackers. There both faced lots of threats and humiliation from varied sources for filing the case. They were both event organizers and the business also was greatly affected because going out attracted public attention. “We did not have anyone except each other when we faced this acid test”, Guru points out.

Mental trauma

More than the physical assault, the victims especially Vijay and Guru had to go through a lot of mental trauma which often reached a precipice due to the public humiliation that followed. They often had to face nasty taunts from their detractors who did not lose an opportunity to pass lewd comments against them or publicly humiliate them. They were stalked, their every movement was tracked and even the social media was used to launch personal attacks on them.

Vijay Kumar who was working as DJ in all wedding-related functions and other social gatherings avoided attending these functions to evade unnecessary trouble that might crop up due to his presence. He argues that as DJ his presence would have attracted unwanted attention of the guests attending the function and would have caused embarrassment to the organizers. “I did not want to be the cause of trouble for others and therefore avoided taking up any assignments initially. We were financially broke for the first six months and due to family support alone we could pull on days”, says Vijay Kumar.

Vijay is not highly educated and it was only due to his talent he was able to make a name for himself as a DJ. He is quite vocal about this when he says: “I am not highly educated. After my SSLC I started working and came up in life by sheer hard work and determination. But everything was shattered in a matter of five minutes and that is something which I found difficult to come to terms with”.

It goes to their credit that Vijay and Guru did not quail even when faced with a barrage of difficulties and that helped. As a result they have been able to pick up the threads of their devastated lives and rebuild it once again from scratch. But both have no regrets for their decision to come out in the open and face the society.

Naveen Soorinje the journalist who exposed the macabre home stay incident had to pay a heavy prize as he was arrested and charged with multiple sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy. He was in jail for 4 ½ months before he was granted bail by the High Court based on the statement given by complainant victim Vijay Kumar who told the High Court that Naveen Soorinje had actually helped the victims and was not the accused.

Attitudinal change

Soorinje opines that all the victims including the girls who were attacked should have come forward to file a complaint. He says that he had a ‘class’ in the jail during his five month stint and feels that his life has taken a turn for the better. He also opines that if the girls who were assaulted and sexually molested in the name of moral policing had filed a complaint the case would have been on a strong footing. “Even now I feel that the girl victims should have filed a complaint. If they had refused the police should have counseled them on the expediency of filing a complaint. Otherwise the police had the opportunity to treat the statements given by girls as a complaint”.

Soorinje firmly believes that girls or boys who are victims of such attacks should not worry about their reputation or status in the society. “These girls and boys were just partying and that is not a crime. These victims should have thought it is the reputation of the attackers which is at stake in such incidents and not that of the victims”.

Of course, it is easier said than done, as Vijay Kumar and Gurudatt Kamath would tell us. But there is an urgent need for an attitudinal change in the society which often crucifies the victims and treats them askance. Soorinje says he was a victim of such discrimination when the management of a city college recently refused to give him a hall saying he has a bad reputation. If this is the treatment meted out to a journalist one can imagine the fate of the common victims.

There were in all 44 accused in the case out of which 38 were arrested by the police including the arrest of Manu alias Manoj who fell into the police net just last week. 13 youngsters including five girls were partying at Morning Mist home stay celebrating the birthday of Vijay Kumar on July 28, 2012.

The second additional district sessions court granted bail to 16 more accused in the attack on July 25, 2013. 19 accused were released on bail earlier. Now except the main accused Subhash Padil and Munna and Manoj who was arrested last week, all the other accused are out on bail.

Mohan Padil who many consider as the mastermind of the disgraceful act was the BJP corporator at the time of the incident. He later switched sides and joined JD (S) from where he contested Corporation elections and lost. Since then he has joined the Congress. Despite changing parties he still says that Morning Mist home stay was used for immoral activity. When contacted by Mohan Padil defended the attack saying “this incident would serve as a lesson for many others indulging in activities which are against our culture”. He had no answer when asked whether sexual attack on girls by the goons was in accordance with Indian culture. He says whatever might be the political party he might join he would fight against unjust and immoral acts.

The owner of Morning Mist home stay Loretta Rebello must be credited for facing the situation with determination and with indefatigable efforts. Any other lesser person would have given up in such a situation. But Loretta, who is well informed about her constitutional rights and her duties as a citizen, faced the slugfest with fortitude. She is a warrior who has always fought against injustice and for her rights. She says she only felt sorry for the children who faced the wrath of the attackers on that fateful day. She also says she has never been on the wrong side of the law and has faith in Indian judiciary and therefore has nothing to fear.

The Morning Mist home stay attack is a chilling reminder of the violent brand of cultural extremism prevalent in the coastal districts of undivided Dakshina Kannada district in the name of moral policing. One only hopes the accused who spent nearly one year in the jail have learnt a lesson for the better and would not indulge in Talibanisation of Mangalore any more.



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Comment on this article

  • Abdul Razak, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 30 2013

    ARISE MANGALORE collected funds to fight the case . No news after that.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 30 2013

    Mr. Lawrence, keep it low Sir, dont get upset too much over a cooment so u write a page in reply. take it cool!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul Razak Kodi, Belthangady

    Tue, Jul 30 2013

    Our people have to get used to social change, right or wrong. People who talk of moral values do not possess it themselves. These people are the ones who watch X-rated films / blue movies etc and do everything behind the backs of others. One good example is our ex-MLA's ( our Honourable law makers ) watching Porn in the State Assembly. It happened in Gujarat & Maharashtra Assemblies too.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lawrence, USA

    Mon, Jul 29 2013

    Dear Shanker, whether you live in India or in USA, it doesn't matter as long as you don't compromise your moral value. There are thousands of girls choose to be Nuns or Prostitutes in both countries. My point is that you cannot raise your girl child in a card board box. Having said that I am not endorsing spending night with a drunkard man either in USA or in India. Coming to the point, the girls at the Homestay were not spending the night, rather they were attending a birthday party with the permission from their parents which was none of our business.

    I lived in India and I know what happened to a few girls in my town who were raised with strict orthodox lifestyle, i.e. not to talk to the boys, attend any parties, leave home without escort etc. In one case, it is too sensitive to mention happened within the family and the Catholic Nuns came to their rescue.

    Further, it is also about the cultural difference between East and West. Girls raised in the west have no fear, true to their conscience and discuss their personal lives with parents. Our 22 years old daughter is our best friend than the daughter. Since we know her and her friends circle well, we are least worried sending her out for her friends birthday parties. Her curfew is 9:00 pm and can be relaxed to half an hour depending on the traffic/weather conditions. She is growing as a normal human being and we continue to pray for that.

    There are orthodox Hindus, Muslims, Jews and all kind of people live and raise their families and no one wants to go back to where they come from because of the different culture. Many realizes that there is a human value and equality in Western way of living.

    One should live in the USA to understand the culture and human value! A frog in the well will never see the ocean unless it comes out of the well.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Adrian Lobo, Bangalore

    Mon, Jul 29 2013

    Who would Like There Daughters, Sisters and Wife to be in morning mist with Men and boys spending a Night???? i hate the goons.. i dont understand modernity ..I see it in bangalore

    DisAgree [11] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 29 2013

    Mr. Lawrence, had you read and understood the comments, you wouldn't have written the first line of ur comment.
    regarding the eqality of gender, i am with you. regarding the attack, i condemn it.
    but, i do not want my daughter to spend nights with some drunkard guys in some homestays. this is my mindset, perhaps because i have never lived in USA.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lawrence, USA

    Mon, Jul 29 2013

    Shanker, it is not anyone's business to know what someone's sisters are doing. We should mind our own business and protect our own family. The medieval age mindset should be changed. Men and women are equal in modern era and we should accept the fact and to live with it. You cannot instill fear in mind and enforce your moral principles on others. That will never work in modern world. As long as you and I live an exemplary life, others will follow us.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Pereira, Pune

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Shankar, I ask you only one question. Who are these goons, criminals, murderers to protect others children & their moral ? There is no law ? No Police ? Why did they steal the jacket of girls ? Why did they steal their gold chains & birthday cake ? Did you see how they molested the girl victims ? Pls. re-read about the back ground of Moral Police, specially your hero Manu the great Manoj.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Mr. peter pereira, Pune,
    i dont know how old are and if u have college going kids. keep aside the attack, Do you think the culture what you see now is acceptable? even the catholics whom i am closely attached to( supposed to be most modern in thinking) do not entertain their college going kids to indulge in any of the activities similar to that happened in homestay.
    any readers agree to this?

    DisAgree [33] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijay, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    protectors of culture in jeans , tshirts and shoes. they are protecting or promoting western culture.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Pereira, Pune

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Shankar Mangalore, it is a pity that there are people like you who support the shameless, barbaric acts of criminals and murderers like Manu alias Manoj in the name of protecting culture. Do we need these criminals & murderers to protect our culture ? Molesting birthday celebrant girls, stealing birthday cake, gold chains and even birthday cake is protecting culture ? Are you one of the members of this culture protecting group ? Shame ! utter shame.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Maxim Mathias, Shirva, Dubai

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Like church attacks, this is a black dot of Mangalore's history by dirty BJP.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Yes, now the govt. has changed. you enter any pubs during college hours, you can see girls in school uniforms drinking hard liquor and smoking. does anyone think this behaviour of these children make their parents proud? or by any way can we encourage this?
    Most of the people patying in the Home stay, did not want to reveal their identity or come forward to complain. the same fact shows how guilty they were of their behaviour.
    People who are on the look out on such opportunities for easy fun are the only ones who condemn the attack.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Farooq, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    We have seen the attackers and by thier looks we understood how educated and cultured they are,..pls dont literate us...

    DisAgree [12] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • jrome, manglur

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    HI Shankar,

    If one's sister gets molested in public, will he come forward to complain..? I will not, WILL YOU?

    DisAgree [17] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • shankar, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    jrome manglur,
    if ones sister has not done anything being ashamed of, whats wrong in going public??

    DisAgree [8] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Karkal

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Morning Mist can not be a right place for B'day celebratiion. However, only the close neighbourers can tell the genuine story behind. The neighbourers are the one who used to get fed up on the things and complain on whats happening there. Thier initial complaints to official authorities were IN VAIN. In the end everything has come to an end.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • lalith, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    @ mr john are nobody to decide were partys are to be can celebrate yours wherever you want...and all those who are supporting the goons..if those goons and other anti social elements ever try to repeat what was done they will pay a heavy price
    ..mohan padil is a drunkard and a loser nobody cares what he does

    DisAgree [15] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Farooq, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013


    DisAgree [12] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    People who supported late night homestay birthday party dont allow & even ban their girls from mingling with male student,sing & dance in stage..Hypocrisy is that as per TOI, the Mullah who issued fatwa against J&K girls only singing band was caught dancing to the tunes live in camera..

    DisAgree [13] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Farooq, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Dear Ramesh,
    You are not among the one who served the jail term for one year you will understand thier must be the one who supported and ruined their career..
    why dont you hold the discussion upto mangalore since this issue is relating to mangalore..when it come to the topic of J&K i will welcome you to argue on that topic...before pointing at our mullah..turn around and have a look at you GODMAN SADHUUS...hope i need not quote the example indeed they are world famous by now..
    I have observed one stupid foolish act in BJP supporters..They will never stick to their action topic of the day..just keep dragging the matters to someother corner which is not related...pls mature..

    DisAgree [14] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Dear Farooq, i stand by comment..i clearly said i condemn the attack..but just for sake of hating Sangh parivaar or BJP please dont support immoral activities in the name of freedom..and i believe even your consciousness also doesn't support this..Regarding J&K incident just read today TOI..i just want to reveal these double faced crooks who preach one thing to youngster & do something in disguise (incl., Nityananda, you might have written hundred of comments while Nityananda caught with indecent act, so nothing to offend)..Regarding dragging other issues, pls remember J&K is our one of state it deffinately matters us..Its not like, When something happens in Myanmar, Mumbai burns..

    DisAgree [6] Agree [14] Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Now entire India know about BJP's game plan..........

    DisAgree [18] Agree [50] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivan, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Mohan Padil has joined Congress?????????!!!!!!!!! R U Joking?

    DisAgree [6] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • G.Z.T. Kunte., Udupi

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    It is this horrible incident that Crushed BJP and gave Victory to Congress in Mangalore Corporation Election as well as Assembly election in D.K./Udupi.
    But it is sad that Ex-Corporator Mohan Padil is taken into Congress even though every one knows that he is the main brain behind this Homestay attack.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Now, its clear that this guy has been hired for this act & rewarded accordingly!!!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen Kumaresh, Bengaluru

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Happy Birthday Vijay Kumar.
    The Courage Shown by you and Gurudatt Kamath & Navin Soorinje is really Commendable. We can understand how much mental torture and physical threat that saffron brigade must have given you and your family when their party was in Power till April. It is really shameful that your other friends especially six boys who were partying with you on that day, did not support you because Such cowardice only helps the Criminals.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Jul 28 2013


    DisAgree [49] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rodrigues, blore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Point taken. One has to celebrate b'day at home. Not only b'day but every other event should be celebrated at home and all bars, restaurants (veg and non-veg), hotels, homestays, malls (with food court), etc. should be banned. Burden the women of the house with all the cooking for all of your male friends... Right Mr. Suresh Maroli? That's what you do in Bahrain,... right Mr. Maroli? You never take your family out to restaurants,... right Mr. Maroli. Only eating in the house, right??? Get real, man...!

    then why do many Beedi fellows go to cheap bar and celebrate drinking in bar?

    DisAgree [4] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Jul 28 2013


    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan D'Silva, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    I feel on the occasion of Vijay's birthday, boys and girls should have come forward and attacked one of the goon/criminal (who is out on bail) and should have taken him on procession... that would have been fun and would have been a lesson for future....Have fun Vijay...happy b'day

    DisAgree [7] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Is this worth remembering??..everybody knows what was happening in the dead night at HOME STAY..Opportunists just got chance & painted political colour..eventhough i am not supporting the attack, no moral thing was happening in Morning Mist & nobody will go with live camera to rape,loot or rob..there are so many unresolved murder cases,rape cases if we make people remember these incidents atleast culprits may get caught..Somebody joked,this time these young boys & ladies will get sponsorship from HJV to celebrate Birthday with thundu & Gundu!!

    DisAgree [50] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manohar, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    You are not supporting the attack...Rather Celebrating it!

    DisAgree [5] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Read the comment of GZT kunte,UDUPI you will understand who had celebrated this incident..May be they are celebrating anniversary also..I afraid now MP elections coming,these people may go to any extent to malign leaders,parties,Groups (Remember Giggy baba & 65 traitors!!)

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Jul 28 2013


    DisAgree [19] Agree [54] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tom Cat , Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Never again will BJP come to power by my curse it will further be disintegrated never to rise again, enough is enough, mangalore requires to be peaceful.

    DisAgree [24] Agree [52] Reply Report Abuse

  • GOONS ENJOYED, ibrahim saudi/yanbu

    Sun, Jul 28 2013


    DisAgree [11] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Ist Birthday...Calls for 'Meaningful Celebration' right?
    A composition to suit the ocassion...
    Woh Anna Haakodchi...
    Tinondithe Puli Munchi.....
    Malthade Mastha Kaasa Karchi....
    Daaye Haakuvar...Gothu Ijji...

    DisAgree [20] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pinto, Mlore

    Sun, Jul 28 2013

    Hakodchi anna birthday enna” (don’t hit me it is my birthday
    Dialogue which became more famous than Gabbar Singhs 'GOLI KAVO '

    DisAgree [9] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Mangalore: Home stay attack - A year passes by, but painful memories still linger

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