Mangalore pub attack victims stay away from ministry team


Bangalore/New Delhi : A two-member team of the women and child development ministry Sunday met senior police officers in Mangalore over the Jan 24 attack on women in a pub. But the victims shied away from interaction with the team, the police said.

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“The team could not meet them as none is coming forward,” said Umesh Shet, an inspector of Mangalore north police station, who is handling the police investigations.

The two-member team led by joint secretary Kiran Chadha reached Mangalore, about 350 km from here, Sunday morning and spent the day gathering information from the police and the management of the pub – Amnesia – The Lounge.

Police officers led by superintendent N. Sateesh Kumar briefed the team about the incident and the action the police have taken so far.

The Mangalore police have not been able to locate the victims of the attack though 28 members of the Sri Rama Sene (Lord Rama’s army) outfit were arrested for assaulting several women who had gone to the pub with a group of men Jan 24.

“We have appealed to the victims and their parents or guardians to meet the central team. But so far none has turned up,” Shet told IANS by phone from Mangalore.

“We have not been able to locate any one of them,” he said.

Chadha and the other member of the team visited the pub and met its management and the staff on duty at the time of the incident, Shet said.

The two-member team was sent by Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury as she and the National Commission for Women (NCW) were not satisfied with the findings of NCW member Nirmala Venkatesh, who visited Mangalore two days back.

Venkatesh also could not meet any of the victims. She, like the Chadha team, talked to police officials and the pub management and staff.

She told reporters later that the owners had license to run a lodge and not a pub. It also had no proper security. She said she would recommend cancellation of the license.

Venkatesh said she had met the attackers who had expressed regret for their action.

NCW chairperson Girija Vyas, however, has termed Venkatesh’s statements as her personal view and not that of the commission.

The Chadha team will return to Delhi Monday evening.

Around 40 members of Sri Rama Sene barged into the pub and bashed up several young men and women in the name of moral policing.

“The National Commission for Women (NCW) had sent a team to probe the Mangalore incident but their report has not yet come. Therefore, realising the urgency of the issue, the ministry has sent a two-member team to probe the matter,” a ministry official told IANS in New Delhi.

“The team will return in a day or two and submit a report on the matter,” the official added.