|Statement| Communal Mob Attack in Bangalore

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Bangalore, strongly condemns the brutal and organised mob attack on Brother Phillip Noronha by members of Jaya Karnataka Vedike, in presence and with support of inspector BN Gopalakrishna, inspector of Whitefield Police Station. Brother Phillip was kidnapped in a van, beaten up and roughed up by these vigilante elements and finally taken to his school where media were present and recorded the lawless actions. The Inspector also assaulted the brother in the presence of TV and media people, without any apparent provocation. This grave assault on Br. Philip mirrors the worsening climate of intolerance within the state, in particular the undeclared police sanction and cooperation for such hooliganism. The grave, unjust and serious physical violence of this recent episode is a matter of utter shame and disgrace to the current State administration and our Police Force.

The modus operandi of the attack itself recalls the way communal forces have engaged in moral policing in Dakshina Kannada district often with the cooperation of the police. It is in this context that the attack on Brother Phillp assumes a serious dimension when the attackers seem to have the backing of the media as well as the police going by the fact that the attack was played out in front of the media and in the presence of the police.

The quality of individual rights available to all citizens of this country depend upon the integrity and impartiality of the police force, and severe acts of omission and commission of this kind in curtailing and controlling vigilante violence reflects very poorly on the role of the police in ensuring respect for the law of the land.

PUCL demands immediate investigation into the beating of Brother Phillip Noronha, particularly into the role of police, who participated in this heinous attack either overtly or covertly. We further demand that all perpetrators of this attack be arrested based upon the FIR which has been registered against them. We also demand most severe disciplinary action be meted out to concerned police officials, to discourage future police complicity in vigilante violence.

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