It was a rave party in Mangalore, insists Manjula
She says victims brought it upon themselves
Karnataka State Women’s Commission president C Manjula on Monday vehemently defended her observation that the recent assault on girls at the “Morning Mist” Homestay in Mangalore was a result of their “drinking habits”.
Manjula was widely criticised after she found fault with the victims and their partying habits, instead of blaming it on the assaulters, in her report on the incident.
Speaking at a seminar organised by the State Temperance Board, Manjula once again emphasised on the role of alcohol and drugs in the Mangalore homestay attack.
Drawing attention to the beer bottles seized from the venue, Manjula said youngsters indulging in “immoral activities” are a more pressing issue than the attack on girls and needs to be addressed immediately. The commission president, however, maintained that she had condemned the incident.
“I suspect that the youngsters at the homestay had consumed drugs,” Manjula said, citing a senior politician’s observation that clothes worn by one of the boys suggested he consumed drugs, as the basis of her conclusion.
“These youngsters have got unnecessary sympathy from the media. We have to check the credentials of Loretta Rebello who had rented the place to the group. We also have to check the credentials of the Gurudutt Kamath, mother of one of the victims, who has tried to gain public sympathy by saying she had permitted her son to go for the party,” she said.
Manjula found support in State Women’s Commission Chairperson Pramila Nesargi. “If you see the larger picture, those who beat up the girls were probably not entirely at fault. If you see a woman trying to jump into the well, you will not have time to think whether she was clad or not. This was a similar case. Won’t you beat a child when she does a mistake? Necessity knows no law,” said Nesargi.
She also demanded that alcohol consumption at parties be banned. “If anyone wants to hold such parties, they have to take a licence.”
For both Manjula and Nesargi, proponents of puritan values, the presence of beer bottles on the premises was evidence enough to declare it a rave party, even though the Mangalore police said it was not.