New Delhi: Nearly 24 hours after men allegedly affiliated with Hindu hardliner group the Ram Sena attacked a pub in Mangalore and beat up women, Karnataka government seems to have finally woken up to it.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the state police will take appropriate action. “Mangalore incident is very unfortunate. Police are doing what they have to. Ten people have already been arrested and remanded to judicial custody till January 27,” he said.
However, Karnataka police went on a defensive, blaming the media instead. DGP, R Srikumar said, “I want to ask, when the media knew, why did they not inform the police? If they know of such an incident, they (must) be hand in glove, you must inform. It is your duty”.
The activists alleged that the pub owner was allowing the boys and girls to dance in an 'obscene manner'. Home Minister V S Acharya told PTI in Manipal that stringent action would be initiated against those involved in the assault.
The Sri Ram Sena was founded by Pramod Muthalik, a former RSS member and Bajrang Dal Chief.
Speaking with CNN-IBN from Maharashtra, Muthalik defended his organisation and said it was not a big issue and that the media was blowing it out of proportion.
“It’s a small incident and we were only working against obscenity in public. You are not talking about the issue, which is obscenity and inappropriate behaviour,” he said.
Muthalik - who was also the Karnataka Chief of the Shiv Sena but parted ways with them over the Belgaum border issue - also said Ram Sena was a non-profit organisation and its objective was to “serve the society and prevent bad begaviour”.
Muthalik fielded candidates against the BJP in the 2008 Assembly elections but lost.
Sri Ram Sena is not new to controversy. In 2007, its cadres attacked the house of M Karunanidhi's daughter Selvi at the height of protests on the Cauvery issue.
It was also allegedly involved in the attack on Churches. His name figures in failed bomb blasts in Hubli last year.