9 years later, 25 Ram Sene activists arrested in Mangalore pub attack, walk free
MANGALURU, March 13, 2018:
Nine years after the ugliness of 'moral policing' was exposed in the form of the Mangalore Pub attack case, a local court acquitted right wing-organisation — Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik and 24 others on Monday citing lack of evidence in the attack.
"This (the judgment) is a victory of the truth," a triumphant Muthalik said even as he apologised on behalf of the men on ground for carrying out the brazen attack on women. However, on Monday, he defended the intention of the Sene activists, saying the outfit could not and shall not tolerate the youths of the country resorting to "wine culture".
Justice Manjunath, the judge, acquitted 25 of the 30 accused, including Muthalik, for lack of evidence in the attack. While two of the remaining five accused are dead, trial is pending against the other three who left the country.
A group of 40 activists allegedly belonging to Sri Ram Sene had barged into the pub "Amnesia – The Lounge" on Dr Shivaram Karanth Road on January 24, 2009, and beat up a group of young women and men, claiming the women were violating traditional Indian values. Two women were hospitalised.
The 30 accused were booked on charges of criminal trespassing, assault on women, rioting inside the premises and criminal conspiracy among other sections of the IPC. Some of the key accused were: Suresh Padil, Subhash Padil, Prasad Attavar, Sharath Padavinangady, Jeevan Neermarga, Vinod Neermarga, Devraj Neermarga, Rohith Adyar, Pawan Manjeshwar, Dheeraj Manjeshwar, Ganesh Attavar and Sachin Attavar.
Muthalik was exterminated from the district for a year after the attack. Almost two years after the incident, the saffron outfit leader had referred to it as a big mistake and a public relations disaster.
The incident sparked off nationwide outrage against Muthalik, with youngsters launching a "pink chaddi Campaign" in protest against moral policing by sending him pink innerware.
Meanwhile, Muthalik said he is considering slapping defamation cases against the Congress, which was at the helm at the Centre, and the BJP, which was holding office in the state, during the incident for maligning his image and giving him "mental, physical and financial" trouble and torture.
Muthalik reiterated his question to the BJP as to how could he be booked when he was not even present at the venue of the attack. According to Muthalik, he was at a convention from January 23-25 in Pune and the police arrested him at the airport in Belagavi on his return on January 26. He was lodged in jail for 16 days. "Once I obtain the order copy of the court, I will discuss with my lawyer on how to take this forward. I am considering slapping defamation cases against the governments," he said.
With inputs from Times of India