Mangalore hooligans get bail, their leader promises to behave (Lead)

January 31st, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Jan 31 (IANS) Sri Rama Sene president Pramod Muthalik and 27 Sene activists arrested for last week’s attack on women in a Mangalore pub were released on bail Saturday. A Mangalore court granted them bail with conditions including one that says they should report to the Mangalore North police station once a fortnight.

Muthalik said his outfit’s agitation against pubs and “pub culture” will continue but promised the Mangalore attack will not be repeated.

“Our agitation will not be like this (Mangalore attack). I have already apologised for it. Our people got carried away,” he said after getting the bail.

Muthalik denied he had any links with the key accused in the bomb explosion in Malegaon, Maharashtra, on the night of Sep 29.

“I have no links. I do not know who is Praveen Muthalik. I have told this to ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra),” he added.

An ATS team from Mumbai interrogated Muthalik in the Mangalore jail before he was released on bail.

Prasad Attavar, vice president of the Karnataka Sri Rama Sene, also got bail.

The Sene had claimed ‘credit’ for the Jan 24 attack by about 40 men who slapped, abused, pushed, pulled hair and molested several young women at Amnesia - The Lounge on Balmatta Road in the centre of Mangalore, about 350 km from here.

Muthalik and Attavar did not take part in the attack but had defended it saying the women were “violating traditional Indian values”.

Attavar and 26 others were arrested two days after the incident and Muthalik three days back.

Attavar told reporters after getting bail that the Sene was happy that its action had brought country-wide publicity. “Our popularity will increase because of this and there will be opposition to the growth of pub-culture in all states.”

The attackers have been charged with outraging the modesty of women, assault, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

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