Mangaluru: The incident had garnered national outrage after a video clip of the attack went viral and yet, a local court on Monday acquitted Right-wing fringe outfit Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik and several others in the 2009 Mangaluru pub attack case for lack of evidence.
In January 2009, dozens of activists allegedly belonging to the Sri Ram Sene, a Hindutva outfit in Karnataka, attacked women at a pub in Mangaluru.
The order was passed by 3rd Judicial Magistrate of First Class Court in Mangaluru.
Reacting to the development, Muthalik said, "it was a victory of truth".
In the assault that was caught on camera, women at the pub were dragged by their hair, and manhandled by Sri Ram Sene activists, who accused them of "loose morals", an NDTV report said.
"Cases were filed against us under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) without evidence and witnesses".
The others acquitted included Subash Padil and Sharath Padavinangady, who are also accused in the 2012 home stay attack case in the city, Prasad Attavar, the then vice-president of State unit of Sri Rama Sene and legal adviser of the Sene, Mr. Dinakara Shetty. The incident had shot the organisation as well as its chief Muthalik to infamy.
Just before the 2014 elections, Muthalik even joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), albeit only for a few hours as party members objected to his induction. The incident marked the rise of moral policing in the coastal town angering youngsters. In fact, one of the accused became notorious of sorts as the video footage shows him repeatedly attacking a defenceless girl.
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