A man and a woman hailing from Kollam district in Kerala appear to be the latest victims of moral policing in the state.
On Friday morning, the youths approached Kollam city police commissioner claiming that they were victims of moral policing on Valentine’s Day.
A group of five men approached the duo, who had gone to hang out to Azheekkal Beach and allegedly manhandled them. According to their complaint, the men allegedly threatened them, videographed them and circulated it on social media. The complainants have also alleged that the woman had gone to a secluded spot to relieve herself, when the five men approached her.
In a portion of the video circulating on social media, a man can be heard asking the woman “Would you lift your saree at the instruction of any man?” The 'moral police' demanded to know why a woman and a man were together in a secluded spot, away from the public glare. In the edited video footage, the couple can be heard pleading with the men to let them go. The complainants have also alleged that the five men tried to misbehave with the woman.
Both the victims handed over their written complaint to the Kollam commissioner. Speaking to media persons after filing the complaint, the man said that the duo was in the verge of ending their lives out of desperation.
“We do not know what else to do. I am now reacting against the matter because I hope nobody else undergoes such an inexperience in the future,” the victim said.
Kollam city police commissioner S Satheesh Bino told The News Minute that two persons have been arrested in the case.
"Based on their complaint, we summoned a few suspects and the victims identified two of them. The victims have alleged that there were five men in total and we are in the process of nabbing them," Commissioner said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Facebook to hit out at the increasing instances of moral policing in Kerala. Condemning the practice, Pinarayi described the so-called moral police as criminals.
"Have asked the state DGP to take stringent action against the practice of moral policing. Clearly, the men can be seen threatening the victims and the victims are pleading before them. The kind of language the men are using is utterly abusive and cultureless. Whatever situation it may be, citizens have not been given the right to threaten or attack anybody. The fact that the visuals were circulated on social media is a grave violation of law. I have asked the DGP to also bring the people who posted the said video on social media, before law," Pinarayi wrote.
This is the third incident of moral policing reported from the state in a week. On Thursday, a 22-year-old student from Nadapuram filed a police complaint against members of the Muslim League and MSF alleging that they were circulating objectionable content about her on social media for not conforming to conventional standards.
Earlier last week, a similar controversy erupted in a college in Thiruvananthapuram, after a man was beaten up allegedly by SFI members for sitting next to girl students.