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Eight arrested for attack on partygoers in India

July 29, 2012

Indian policemen. — Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian police Sunday arrested eight people for an assault on young women and men allegedly by members of a radical Hindu outfit objecting to their “immoral” behaviour, local media and officials said.

As many as 50 men claiming to belong to the right-wing Hindu Jagaran Vedike group raided a private resort in southern Karnataka state and assaulted about a dozen partygoers, Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said.

“Already eight people who were involved in this incident have been arrested and criminal cases have been booked against them,” Karnataka chief minister Jagdish Shettar told reporters in Bangalore.

Video footage aired on local TV Saturday showed the attackers slapping and hurling abuses at the women and forcing them to show their faces to the camera.

A young woman trying to escape was dragged back and assaulted by activists, who said they were acting to prevent “immoral activities”.

The incident recalled a similar attack in Mangalore in 2009 when activists of a right-wing Hindu group, outraged by what they viewed as “obscene”behaviour, stormed a bar and assaulted female patrons.

“Who gave these people authority to attack a private property and assault people?” R. Ashoka deputy chief minister of Karnataka state asked in state capital Bangalore on Sunday.

The attack reignited debate over what constitutes culturally acceptable behaviour in modern India, a traditionally conservative society where women face pressure to remain modest at all times.