Members of Hindutva group Bajrang Dal barged into a Mangaluru pub on Monday night and forcefully halted a party claiming that some college students attending the event were indulging in “illegal activities”, The News Minute reported.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Shashi Kumar said that around 8 pm on Monday he received information about the incident at the pub named “Recycle - The Lounge”. The pub was being shut down when the police reached the spot, and about 20 boys and 10 girls were leaving, he added.
“Some videos have surfaced where some boys and girls are leaving the pub and some men are standing in the parking area,” he said.
In one of the videos, a Bajrang Dal member is seen heckling the students as they exit the lounge. In another video accessed by The News Minute, a Bajrang Dal member is heard saying, “Bevarsi, party malpera? [Drunkards, you want to party?]”.
Bajrang Dal District President Sharam Pumpwell told NDTV that students attending the party, were from a Mangaluru college, where an alleged case of sexual assault had been reported on July 22.
“Therefore, our activists went to the pub to stop their party,” he said.
Last week, a group of students from the Mangaluru college were booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act after a video surfaced on social media that showed a boy and a girl kissing each other during a game of “truth or dare”.
The incident had taken place inside an apartment shared by two students of the group.
However, investigation revealed that eight boys from the group had allegedly sexually assaulted the two girls on multiple occasions. One of the girls told the police that the boys allegedly recorded the acts of assault and used the video clips to seek sexual favours from them.
The Bajrang Dal’s actions on Monday were reminiscent of the 2009 incident, in which several members allegedly belonging to the Sri Ram Sene, a Hindutva outfit in Karnataka, attacked women at a pub in Mangaluru.
They claimed that the women had been violating traditional Indian values. The attack led to protests including a “Pink Chaddi” campaign in which people sent pink underwear to members of the Sri Ram Sene to protest against the attack as well as to threats by the outfit to disrupt Valentine’s Day.
In 2010, Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik described the attack as a big mistake. However, in 2018, all Sri Ram Sene members involved in the assault were cleared of charges due to a lack of evidence.