New Delhi: Bajrang Dal activists disrupted a college party at a pub in Karnataka’s Mangaluru on the evening of Monday, July 26, on the grounds that it “violated Indian culture”, The News Minute reported.
Videos that emerged on social media of the incident showed the members of the Hindutva outfit hurling abuses at those partying, which prompted them to leave the premises hurriedly. The incident took place at ‘Recycle: The Lounge’, a pub in Mangaluru.
The Hindutva activists objected to women partying and accused the revelers of indulging in “illegal activities”.
The attack is believed to have come in response to a viral video that emerged last week of two youngsters kissing in a private apartment as their friends cheered them on.
“Last week, a video of students from St. Aloysius college doing a ‘lip lock’ challenge went viral. Now, the students of the same college had a party. (Bajrang Dal) members informed the (police) department and the party was stopped,” the News Minute report quoted Sharan Pumpwell, district head of the Bajrang Dal, as saying.
In response to the video, a group of students from the college were booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. But, the police said the video was six months old and the incident took place when students were playing ‘truth or dare’.
As for Monday’s incident, the Mangaluru Police refuted that there was an attack on the pub while adding that Bajrang Dal activists only approached bouncers at the pub to inquire if minors were served any liquor.
“It was circulated on social media that there was an attack on the pub. There hasn’t been an attack on any pub or restaurant,” Shashi Kumar, police commissioner, Mangaluru, told NDTV.
In a press statement issued by the local police, they said they had received information through media that “some illegal activities are taking place” at around 8 pm on Monday, July 25. By the time police had arrived at the spot, the pub was closing and about 20 boys and 10 girls were leaving the venue and there was no attack, the commissioner said.
In fact, the incident took place days after another Hindutva outfit, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, issued a statement accusing students of the private college of running a “drugs and sex mafia”. It also released a poster conveying the same, and circulated the message widely on the internet.
The ‘Recycle’ pub where Monday’s incident took place stands at the same spot where ‘Amnesia’ pub once existed and shot into the limelight in 2009 when Hindutva activists of the Sri Rama Sene group violently beat up men and women partying there.
The attack back then was captured on camera, showing some men slapping women inside, dragging them out by their hair and brutally assaulting them in broad daylight. That incident had stirred controversy and criminal cases were lodged against the attackers.
However, in 2018, nine years after the 2009 incident, the accused – including Sri Rama Sene founder Pramod Muthalik and 30 others – were acquitted by a Mangaluru court due to lack of evidence.
Featured image: Screengrab from viral video of the incident at the Mangaluru pub.
This article was first published on The Wire.