Bajrang Dal members arrested for harassing and manhandling medical students

News Desk: Five members of a right-wing outfit – Preetham Shetty, Arshith, Srinivas, Rakesh and Abhishek are members of the Bajrang Dal and two others – have been arrested for allegedly harassing and manhandling a group of medical students in yet another incident of moral policing reported from coastal Karnataka.

A case has been registered under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult).

According to police sources, the incident took place on Sunday evening where six second-year MBBS students were driving back from Malpe beach. The accused stopped their car at Surathkal checkpost, asked their names and questioned the women for “being in the company of Muslims”. The activists then proceeded to manhandle the students, when traffic inspector Sharif – who happened to be at the spot – defused the situation and sent them away.

A case was registered and the accused were arrested later. Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar said the complainants stated that they were returning from a picnic and did not know who the attackers were. They asked the students’ names and attacked them. While the accused claimed that some of the youths were harassing women in the vehicle, the probe revealed that the complainants’ claims were true, he said.

This is the fifth incident of moral policing reported recently in the state. In the second week of September, a Bengaluru-based woman and her colleagues were attacked in Dakshina Kannada district’s Puttur for talking to a Muslim man. Around the same time, a Muslim woman and a Hindu man, who is her colleague, were attacked in Bengaluru for travelling together on a bike while returning from work. Two persons were later arrested in the case.

At Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district, six paramedical students were attacked by a five-member gang upon their visit to Karinja temple. Three of them were arrested on charges of wrongfully restraining the students and attacking them just because they belonged to different communities.

In March, a 23-year-old Muslim man Aswid Anwar Mohammed was stabbed for travelling with his Hindu friend from Mangaluru to Bengaluru. Four Bajrang Dal activists were held later.