Mangalore, July 29 : About 50 activists of pro-Hindu outfit Hindu Jagarana Vedike, barged into a house in Mangalore on Saturday and in the guise of moral policing assaulted the inmates — six girls and seven boys — who were partying.
The Hindu Jagran Vedike activists dragged the girls by their hair, beat them up and tried to molest them.
Police said the students were from prestigious colleges in and around Mangalore.
All 13 of them have been detained by police for questioning.
Local TV channels aired visuals of Saturday's incident that took place at 7.30 pm in Padeel, 3 km from Mangalore city.
One of the boys was seen trying to convince the attackers that they were celebrating a birthday and pleading with them to let go of the girls, but in vain.
The house belongs to a lady who rents it out as a homestay. Homestay is a form of tourism that allows the visitor to rent a room from a local family to learn the local lifestyle.
Mangalore police commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh and other officials rushed to the spot and took five activists including a BJP corporator Mohan Padeel into custody.
Hindu Jagran Vedike state president Jagadish Karanth said: “There are some people who are running prostitution rackets in the name of love and tarnishing the culture of our nation.
"There is an administrative failure in Mangalore and Police Commissioner did not act upon many complaints regarding such illegal activities,” he said.
Jagadish Shenava, Mangalore area president of Hindu Jagran Vedike supported the incident.Congress and CPM workers held protests outside the Mangalore rural police station, and demanded action against the Hindu Jagran Vedike activists.
A young woman was slapped when she tried to question the members of the outfit. Others who pleaded 'Please leave us, we did not do anything', were dragged and forced to show their faces to the camera.
Jagran leader Subhash admitted his outfit was involved in the raid. DYFI state vice president and DK president Muneer Katipalla demanded members of saffron outfits be arrested under Goonda Act.
This is the second such incident here after January 24, 2009 attack on a pub by Srirama Sene. The incident has come as a huge embarrassment to the ruling BJP as opposition party leaders targeted it for its failure to check pro-Hindu activists and their moral policing.
Condemning the attack, Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, who is in-charge of Home, directed police to arrest immediately those behind the incident.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the government would initiate stern action after receiving a report on the incident.
Mangalore city mayor Gulzar Banu condemned the manhandling of the girls during the raid by the outfit.
“I am saddened by this incident in which girls were manhandled. Such moral policing can only bring a bad name to Mangalore city. The activists should have brought the party to the notice of the authorities instead of taking things into their own hands,” she said.
Jagarana Vedike leader, Subhash, denied the outfit had assaulted any of the guests at the party.
“Similar parties have been held at this resort for several days and although the local people have complained about them to the local authorities, nothing was done. Today our workers went to the resort and brought the party being held there to the notice of the police. But we did not assault anybody,” he claimed.
A resident of Padil confirmed that similar parties had been held at the resort recently.
“Today people near the resort noticed that boys and girls in their early twenties were misbehaving at a party there.
The news spread and some people went inside to take them to task. We don't want such illegal activities and parties in our village,” he said.