A local court in Karnataka’s Mangalore has acquitted right-wing group Ram Sene President Pramod Muthalik and 30 others in the pub attack case here in January 2009 for want of evidence.
“Citing lack of evidence from the prosecution, the magistrate acquitted me and 30 others of our organisation who were charged by then BJP government in the state,” Muthalik was quoted by IANS.
The video of dozens of Ram Sene members mercilessly thrashing women at Amnesia pub in the port city in protest against western culture and western dress had gone viral across the world.
“Cases were filed against us under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) without evidence and witnesses. The court has proved us as honest and acquitted all of us,” Muthalik said on Monday.
A report by PTI said that the counsel for the accused, Vinod, had earlier submitted before the magistrate that his clients were not present when the attack took place at the pub.
The BJP, in 2014, months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, had inducted Muthalik, but within hours disowned him after the party’s central leadership expressed surprise at the decision.
Women right activists and journalists have slammed the court’s verdict with some concluding that the justice was indeed blind-folded in India.
Will Karnataka government find time to address this travesty? And challenge the acquittal of #SriRamSene men in Mangalore pub attack case? Or will men who thrash women only for being in a pub, get away for ‘lack of evidence’ https://t.co/pMXt9Zae0M
— Padmaja joshi (@PadmajaJoshi) March 12, 2018
Women are attacked in a Mangalore pub by the Sri Ram Sene, the attack was caught on camera as planned by Pramod Muthalik. Today nearly a decade later, Muthalik and all his goons are acquitted! I guess justice really is blindfolded?! https://t.co/KI9PVD6pcS
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) March 12, 2018
Who said #SriRamSene attacked those young couples in Mangalore pub in 2009? They were extra-terrestrials. They came, they attacked and they went. No one saw, no one heard and no one cared. Despite video evidence. #MangalorePubAttack #Muthalik
— Zakka Jacob (@Zakka_Jacob) March 13, 2018
Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has reportedly decided to appeal the lower court’s order in the High Court.