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It all happened in a matter of 15 mins

January 27, 2009
'Tell me which girl would like to be assaulted in front of a camera and then be called a prostitute on national television,' said a visibly-shaken victim of moral policing. She along with few other girls were assaulted by a gang of about 40 members of the Sri Ram Sena in Mangalore on Saturday.

One of the victims spoke to on condition of anonymity and said that the incident had scarred their lives forever and that their lives will never be the same again.

The victim, a college student in Mangalore, recounted the horror while saying that it all happened in a matter of 15 minutes. By the time they knew what struck them, it was all over.

Sobbing uncontrollably over phone, she says, 'We were treated like dirt and we did not even know what our mistake was. These activists barged into the pub and dragged us out while repeatedly calling us whores. They manhandled us, tugged at our clothes. It was most embarrassing for some of us who were wearing skirts.'

'These activists pulled our tops and skirts, molested us and all this took place when the cameras were focused on us. I only wish that the media had blurred the faces while showing the video. All my friends and family members have seen what happened to me that day and it is going to take a long time before I could even venture out. I only hope that the government acts fast and ensures that we girls can walk around safely on the roads once again.'

An eye witness who shot a video of the entire incident also said, on condition of anonymity, that on Saturday a gang of around 40 persons came to the pub. They demanded that they wanted to witness what was taking place inside. However, the pub authorities did not permit them to enter at first. This enraged the mob and they started hurling abuses and it seemed as though the protest was turning violent.

The pub authorities then gave in and permitted the men inside. They barged into the pub and started chasing all the people inside the pub. I, however, do not recount witnessing anyone trying to molest the girls. These men kept hitting each and everyone, who was running out of the pub and in the bargain the girls also got hit.

Text: Vicky Nanjappa | Video: Daya Kukkaje daijiworld

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