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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Abu Ghraib in Udupi

Two men paraded nude over alleged cattle-running

The Milli Gazette Online 

Udupi: In a shocking episode, two Muslim men - father and son - were paraded naked and assaulted for about three hours at Adiudupi on 13 March by a group which alleged that they were transporting a "calf" in their Maruti van. The two persons, identified as Hajabba (60) and his son Hasanabba (25), were caught by activists of Hindu Yuva Sena, Bajrang Dal and VHP as they were transporting a calf in a Maruti Omni car from Moodbettu. 

Two men paraded nude over alleged cattle-running

Parivar brutality

Activists of Hindu Yuva Sena were soon joined by Sangh Parivar members. They at first assaulted both Hajabba and Hasanabba and then stripped both of them, paraded them naked in the streets of Adiudupi from 8 pm to 11 pm. Then they brought them to a ground at Adiudupi and assaulted them again. As a result the nasal septum of Hasanabba and his leg were fractured while aged Hajabba's spine has been damaged seriously. 

While all this took place for long hours no policeman turned up. Finally when the grisly episode ended, the police came and admitted the injured to the government hospital. Two separate cases have been filed in Malpe police station - one by Hasanabba against the assailants and the other by the activists of Hindu Yuva Sena against Hajabba and Hasanabba. 

Later, after intervention direct from chief minister, local police identified six persons and arrested four of them. According to reports, Yuva Sena and VHP had preplanned the assault. First a Hindu called Poojari sold his calf to the above said Hajjabba, then as per plan Sangh Parivar members assaulted Hajjabba and his son, stripped them and paraded them naked around the city for about three hours. Except BJP and Sangh Parivar, all sections of the society condemned this shocking, shameful incident. 

Protest against Parivar brutality

Protest against Parivar brutality

While not much about it was reported in the newspapers next day, the matter went to the attention of the chief minister in the assembly. Brahmavar MLA Jayaprakash Hegde, while agreeing that the law should not be violated in the matter of cow-slaughter, took serious objection to the public taking the law into their hands. The chief minister is understood to have ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter. 

Meanwhile, on 19 March the Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike took out a huge procession in Udupi to protest against the stripping incident. The demonstrators demanded that the organisations of the Sangh Parivar indulging in violence should be banned. 

The Vedike demanded dismissal of the Superintendent of Police, S. Murugan, and the Deputy Superintendent of Police, U.R. Pangam, for "supporting communal forces". It also demanded the resignation of the Udupi MLA, Raghupati Bhat, on moral grounds. 

Sanat Kumar Belagali, an activist of the Vedike, said the Sangh Parivar wanted to spread disharmony in the state adding that the Sangh Parivar should answer why the Vajpayee Government did not ban beef exports? Vasanth Salian, former minister, alleged that the police had been inactive in booking cases against communal forces in the Kaup Assembly constituency. The Bajrang Dal was dictating terms to the police in all the six Assembly constituencies of Udupi district. Gopal Bhandary, former MLA, said these forces were bent on dividing society on communal lines. 

The Udupi district unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemned the assault. In a press release, CPI(M) leader, P. Vishwanath Rai, said that organisations such as Bajrang Dal and Hindu Yuva Sena were dividing society. The police had failed to prevent the incident. There should be an investigation on this issue, he said. A delegation of the party had visited the spot of the assault. The district unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party too condemned the assault incident. 

The Dakshina Kannada district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) has also condemned the incident. The district executive committee of the party, which met here on 19 March, adopted a resolution to this effect.

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