Though a group of 10 to 15 members barged into ‘Morning Mist,’ a homestay, at around 6.30 pm on Saturday, molested and beat up five girls and nine boys black and blue, the immediate neighbours came to know about it only around 7.30 pm when they saw the horrible incident in TV channels.
“I was busy in my daily chores. When I saw TV footage in which boys and girls were being beaten up, I was feeling sorry for the teenagers. I was shocked to know that the incident had happened in our neighbour’s house,” said Fathima, a housewife, staying next compound.
Another neighbour, Nanson, said that he learnt about the incident after his mother called him to say that a group of people has gathered in their neighbour’s house. Stating that parties were common in the ‘Morning Mist,’ another neighbour said so far they have not come across any illegal activity or disturbance. “The partygoers come, enjoy and leave,” he said.
At the same time, Area Corporator (BJP) Mohan Padil said he learnt about the incident only around 7.30 pm when he received a call that a few boys and girls have been locked in a house in his area.
“None of the attackers belonging to Hindu Jagarana Vedike or victims are localites,” he said and added that he has not come across any illegal activity in the said house.
Interestingly, those who gave reactions to TV channels too were not immediate neighbours, said a neighbour.
Stating that Saturday’s assault was “well planned,” Mohan said the entire episode was a “media - (Hindu Jagarana) Vedike joint venture.”
On the contrary, yet another neighbour, who did not wish to be quoted, said that some time ago a few live band artistes were staying in a house in the neighbourhood, three houses away from the ‘Morning Mist.’
Though they were roaming semi-nude embarrassing the neighbours, none of the authorities concerned took any action agianst them.
“Why did the Vedike target only this group, though such parties are common,” he sought to know.Rs 10,000 for 5 hours!
One of the victims claimed that they paid a sum of Rs 10,000 for five hours (2.30 pm to 7.30 pm) to party in the ‘Morning Mist,’ a bunglow with many bedrooms. On the other hand, MCC Officer Manjunath Shetty said that the homestay proprietor Loretta Rebello did not possess any commercial licence to run the homestay. Efforts to reach her turned futile. Her cellphone too was switched off.
It is said that the house belonged to a well-known eye surgeon, who sold it to a skin specialist, who in turn sold it to Loretta Rebello.
Though it was lying vacant for six years, Rebello started renting it out on hourly basis about two years ago and the parties like the one held on Saturday were common.