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None of the Bajrang Dal activists have been arrested by the police.

KSRTC buses in a bus stationRepresentation image
news Crime Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 16:37

Another incident of communal vigilantism in coastal Karnataka has come to light where a trio of two Muslim men and a Hindu woman were harassed, stopped on their journey on Wednesday night.  As soon as the bus which had started from Mangaluru to Bengaluru reached Bantwal Town’s  BC Road, a crowd of Bajrang Dal men gheraoed the bus.

The police reached the spot and dispersed the crowd, taking the three to the police station to ensure their safety. The Bajrang Dal members had objected to the interfaith group travelling together and stopped their bus onwards Bengaluru at Bantwal. However, who tipped the Bajrang Dal men about the interfaith group travelling together remains unknown.

Dakshina Kannada SP BM Laxmi Prasad confirmed the development to TNM and said that the three persons who were targeted remained unharmed and were given adequate protection by police. 

He said, “The men and the woman were travelling to Bengaluru for a wedding. We allowed them to carry on with their journey after the crowd was cleared.”

However, no case has been filed against the vigilante group.

“The bus had reached Bantwal when people had gathered and surrounded the bus. Some of the people who were part of the crowd were Bajrang Dal activists. Worried people in the vicinity called the police fearing escalation. Police went there and cleared the crowd and brought the three to the Police Station,” a top police official told TNM.

The officer stated that vigilante groups often incite communal tension over peaceful, consensual relationships between people of different communities.

“So now, what we often have to do is to separate the couples (three persons) from the crowd filled with members of vigilante groups and once the situation is calm, we let them go on their way,” he added.

However, the officer confirmed that in this instance the situation did not escalate to physical violence.

This incident in Bantwal comes to light soon after it was recently reported that two fringe Hindu groups in neighbouring Udupi district clashed over “rescuing” a Hindu girl after she was spotted along with a Muslim boy.

Read: 3 Bajrang Dal men held in Udupi for allegedly attacking Hindu Jagrana Vedike member

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