The police on Tuesday arrested three members of a right-wing Hindu outfit for assaulting two teenage girls at a zoo in Karnataka’s Mangaluru. The girls, a Hindu and a Christian, were attacked for allegedly going to the zoo with some Muslim friends, the Hindustan Times reported, citing police officers.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hanumantharaya said the three men arrested were members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike. “Others might have been involved,” he said, adding that they did not yet know how the men found out the youngsters were at the zoo.
However, IANS quoted Mangaluru Police Commissioner TR Suresh as saying, “The men claim to be members of Hindu organisation Bajrang Dal.” The police registered a First Information Report, charging the accused with criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and assault.
A video showing a man assaulting the girls went viral on social media on Tuesday, triggering outrage against the apparent moral policing. In the clip, the man is seen heckling the students and later hitting one of the girls on her neck, right in front of some policemen.
Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the police had taken prompt action. “I have directed police to take strict action against the vigilante groups,” Reddy said. “Action would be taken against policemen in case of dereliction of duty.”