A youth from Kerala's Malappuram district was beaten up and tied to an electric pole recently, after a group of men accused him of harassing a young woman. The attackers were the woman's relatives and neighbours, say police.
Although the incident happened on February 1 in Karinkallathani in the district, it came to light only recently, when the visuals of the attack were shared on social media platforms. On Saturday morning, the 22-year-old youth filed a complaint with the Perinthalmanna police against 30 people for attacking him. Although not more than five people can be seen in the video of the attack, the police say that cases have been registered against as many as 30 people.
Although the relatives of the young woman attacked the youth alleging that he had harassed her, at one point in the video, the youth says that he has landed a job and that he wanted to marry the young woman, casting a doubt on whether the attack was over their relationship.
The police told TNM that they have booked 30 people including the young woman's relatives and neighbours under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide).
No arrests have been made yet.
In the video of the attack that is being widely shared on social media, a man can be seen holding the youth by his shirt. The man questions him on why he had come to the spot. When the youth pleads for forgiveness, the man proceeds to repeatedly thrash him. In another video, the youth is tied to a pole, while a few other men surround him and question him. One of the men who reaches the spot later can be heard saying that the youth has been "sneaking around" in the locality for the past two days on his bike.
Another man can be heard instructing the others to shoot the visuals of the youth and share it on WhatsApp and Facebook.
The police say that in his complaint, the youth has claimed that he had not harassed the young woman, but that the mob had mistaken him for someone else.