The incident of a youth being stripped and brutally assaulted in full public view by suspected right-wing activists in Mangalore on Tuesday once again brought the subject of moral policing to the fore. The Muslim youth was reportedly beaten up for being in the company of a Hindu girl in the communally sensitive area of Mangalore. As this incident gains traction, we take a look at some of the other incidents of moral policing that have made headlines.
#1 In April this year, a youth in Kerala’s Thrissur district was beaten to death by a mob after being found in the house of a woman. Initial police probe indicated that the incident was the outcome of moral policing. Even though the young man was rushed to the hospital, he died on the way.
#2 Three people were arrested by the police in Maharashtra’s Latur district after they allegedly robbed and brutally assaulted a young couple. The gang thrashed the couple and even filmed the act. They later shared the video on WhatsApp. The incident was condemned by widely condemned by politicians.
#3 The 2009 attack by Sri Ram Sena activists on a pub in Mangalore is perhaps the incident that grabbed the most headlines. The activists beat up several young men and women, claiming that they were not following traditional Indian values. The incident sparked nationwide outrage with people from all corners of the country speaking out against ‘moral policing’ of right-wing activists.
#4 In another case of moral policing in Kerala, a middle-aged man was beaten to death by a gang after he was found returning from a house under ‘suspected circumstances.’ This incident was reported in February this year and was another one of a rising number of such cases in the state. The man’s body was found in a farm land the next morning.
#5 In a more recent case of ‘moral policing’ condemned by people and activist groups, 13 couples and 35 others were rounded up by the Mumbai police following raids at hotels. Consenting adults who checked into several hotels in Madh Island and Aksa area were in for a shock when they found policemen knocking on the doors of their rooms and rounding them up. Days after the incident, the police admitted that they made a mistake and an inquiry was ordered.