A 36-year-old man in Mangaluru was tied to a pole and assaulted after a few minor school girls complained to their parents that he sexually harassed them.
A local resident has alleged that the man, Javed, believed to be the son of a hotelier, regularly stalked girls and made obscene and offensive gestures at them while they were on their way to school.
"Despite the repeated warning, he would continue this habit. Sometimes the girls complained that he would follow them to isolated areas and flash his genitals," said the resident, Jagadeesh.
Angered by his actions, some residents, including women, intercepted him at LIC Road at Kundapur on Wednesday, tied him to an electric pole and thrashed him.
After learning of the incident, Kundapur Sub-Inspector Harish reached the spot with other police personnel and detained the suspect.
However, the residents and the parents of the girls have not filed an official complaint against the man. No complaint has been filed by Javed’s family against the mob that assaulted him either.
“The angry mob, even as they levelled allegations against him, unanimously decided against lodging a complaint. We were not told who the victims were, else we could have asked them or their parents to file a complaint under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act," he said.
While the Kundapur police have detained Javed, his family has stated that he is not a criminal but he is “mentally unstable.” The family, however, did not specify whether he had any learning disabilities.
The Kundapur Police have lodged a suo motu case under Section 110 of the CrPC (Security for good behaviour from habitual offenders) against Javed for causing public nuisance and produced him before the Tehsildar. For now, Javed has been let off and is believed to have been sent to the residence of one of his distant relatives.
This is not the first time that local residents of Kundapur have taken law into their own hands. In 2013, a person with learning disabilities was similarly tied and beaten up for allegedly molesting a girl near Shastri circle at NH 66.
Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)