Karnataka Rightwing Activists Beat, Stab Man for Travelling With Woman of Another Community

Police have detained eight people in connection with the assault and have said four others from the Bajrang Dal who are responsible for it will be held soon.

New Delhi: A 24-year-old man was pulled out of a bus, beaten and stabbed by rightwing activists for travelling with a woman from another community.

Police have detained eight people in connection with the assault. The man and the woman were travelling in a private bus from Mangaluru to Bengaluru.

Mangaluru city police commissioner N. Shashi Kumar said the group stopped the bus at Kankanady. While news agency PTI has quoted Kumar as having that the attack was perpetrated because the man and the woman belonged to different caste groups, NDTV has quoted the same top cop as having said that the travellers belonged to different religions.

“Seven or eight people are in custody – and four from the Bajrang Dal who were involved will soon be arrested,” he was quoted by NDTV as having said. A case has also been registered.

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The man and the woman were classmates and longtime friends. The woman was going to Bengaluru to look for a digital marketing job and the man was accompanying her as the city was unknown to her.

N. Shashi Kumar CP Mangaluru City. Photo: By arrangement

Police have reportedly formed special teams and are in the process of investigating as to how information on the two reached the rightwing group.

The attackers first intercepted the bus, made the couple get off and began beating the man. When the woman came in the way to stop them, she too was reportedly hurt. The man was also stabbed with a sharp weapon.

He is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Falnir, The Hindu has reported.

Three to four such moral policing incidents have been reported in the last two months, the Mangaluru PC also said.

The commissioner said tight security will be arranged in public places like bus stands, beaches and parks in evenings and nights to check such incidents, PTI reported.

In February, 2021, Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel told reporters that the B.S. Yediyurappa government is keen to introduce a “love jihad” law in the coming assembly session, in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. 

Ostensibly meant to curb forced religious conversions, the law has been elsewhere used to ban consenting adults from entering into interfaith marriages and to give legal credo to the Sangh Parivar’s bogey of a conspiracy among Muslims to convert unsuspecting women through marriage.