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' Moral cops' nabbed for teen abuse.

A RED- FACED Karnataka government on Sunday said the partying teens -- who were assaulted by activists of a Hindu outfit at a private guesthouse near Mangalore late on Saturday -- had not indulged in drugs.

More than a dozen activists of the little- known Hindu Jagaran Vedike had raided the guesthouse and manhandled girls and boys, alleging that a rave party was being held there.

The police have managed to arrest 10 of the attackers so far.

As the moral policing act came under all- round attack targeting the BJP government in the state, chief minister Jagadish Shettar held a meeting in Bangalore with deputy CM and home minister R. Ashoka.

" It has been established that there was no rave party being held in Mangalore as alleged by a section of people.

The teenagers had rented the guesthouse for a private party.

Strict action will be initiated against those who attacked them," Ashoka told reporters on Sunday.

The incident had led to widespread protests, prompting Shettar to send additional director general of police ( ADGP) Bipin Gopalakrishna to Mangalore to review the situation. " We will not tolerate this kind of inhuman act. We will ensure that they are punished for their acts," the chief minister said.

One of the friends of the victim, Santosh Shetty claimed that the attack was deliberate and planned. " Our friends did not offer any resistance because they were too shocked by the brutal attack. Besides, they were on camera. All of us are college students and it was a simple party.

There were no drugs at all. We want the court to award these hooligans the strictest punishment," he said.

The ADGP said the incident took place when the youngsters were about to leave the guesthouse.

" As many as 14 students, including eight girls, were partying at the guesthouse. We found bottles only of soft drinks and beer. We did not find any narcotic substance with them; it was a routine party. When these teenagers were about to leave, these assailants barged into the homestay," Bipin added.

After rescuing the victims, the police wanted to escort them out of the guesthouse. But local residents had stopped the police, alleging that the guesthouse was promoting " immoral activities". " The situation is under control now. But we are still on the lookout for another 10 activists who assaulted the youth. We have booked 13 cases against the activists, ranging from assault to outraging the modesty of a woman," he added.

The police have also booked two cameramen of local TV channels. " We are establishing the role of the camera crew. We don't know whether they had been informed prior to the attack. We are probing all angles," the ADGP said.

Two local channels had caught the assailants on camera slapping and abusing the girls partying at the homestay.

This is the second moral policing act in the Mangalore district since 2009 when activists of another Hindu outfit Sri Ram Sene had carried out an attack on a pub, alleging that it was a hub of immoral activities, evoking a national outrage.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 30, 2012
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