Rajnath Singh condemns Mangalore incident, defends state government

January 27th, 2009 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBangalore, Jan 27 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Tuesday condemned the attack on young women by Hindu activists in a Mangalore pub but defended the state government’s handling of the situation.”BJP condemns the incident in totality. It is an unacceptable act of hooliganism,” Rajnath Singh said at a press conference here.

“I am satisfied with the way the state government is handling the situation. Strong action will be taken against the guilty,” he added.

Rajnath Singh, who arrived here late Monday on way to Mysore to attend a function there, said: “Our political opponents and so-called secularists suffer from RSS-BJP phobia. They tend to level allegations without even verifying facts.”

On Saturday, a group of 40 activists of the Sri Rama Sene barged into the pub Amnesia - The Lounge on the busy Balmatta Road in the heart of Mangalore. They bashed up a group of young women and men, claiming the women were “violating traditional Indian values”. The girls were punched and their hair pulled by the self-styled moral brigade.

So far, 27 of the 40 member group, including Sene state vice-president Prasad Attavara, have been arrested for the attack and charged with outraging the modesty of women, rioting, assault and unlawful assembly.

Search is on for another Sene leader Dinakar Shetty who had issued statements to the media defending the attack.

Sene president Pramod Mutalik, who started the organisation after he was expelled from Hindu group Bajrang Dal, is out of the state but has been issuing statements justifying the attack and asserting there was no need to be apologetic about it.

B.S. Yeddyurappa, BJP’s first chief minister in Karnataka and in south India, who was present at Rajnath Singh’s press conference, maintained that his party had no connection with Sri Rama Sene.

“It is an unfortunate incident. Several people have been arrested and strict action will
be taken against the guilty,” he said.

Home Minister V.S. Acharaya told reporters in Udupi, neighbouring district of Dakshina Kannada of which Mangalore is the headquarters, that the attackers appeared to be extortionists.

“They seem to be hafta (weekly extortion money) collectors,” he said.

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