Interfaith Couple Assaulted in Moral Policing Incident: Two Arrested, Investigation Underway

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Karnataka, In a disturbing incident of moral policing, a group of six men forcibly entered a hotel room in Hanagal taluk of Haveri district, Karnataka, assaulting an interfaith couple who were staying there. The incident occurred on January 8 when a 26-year-old woman from the minority community checked into a hotel with her 40-year-old partner, a KSRTC driver, whom she had been in a relationship with for the past three years.

The assailants, reportedly from the same minority community, recorded the assault and later disseminated the video on various social media platforms. According to the police, an auto-rickshaw driver spotted the couple entering the hotel and alerted the group of attackers.

The attackers barged into the hotel room, verbally abused and physically assaulted the couple, capturing the woman on film as she desperately tried to shield her face with a burqa. After forcing them out of the room, the attackers took the couple to an isolated location where the assault continued.

Following the attack, the assailants gave the woman Rs 500 and instructed her to return to her native place. She later sought refuge in Sirsi, where her husband resides, and where the couple has a seven-year-old daughter.

On January 9, the victim lodged a complaint with the police, resulting in the arrest of two individuals involved in the assault. While the woman did not mention any sexual assault in her recorded statement, her husband has alleged such an incident. However, he has not filed a written complaint as of now.

The accused individuals, who are not affiliated with any specific organization, are currently under investigation. The arrested individuals, despite lacking a criminal background, are undergoing verification by the authorities.

“We have arrested two of the gang members. The third suspect has been hospitalized since he met with an accident a day after the alleged incident. Once he is discharged, he will be taken into custody. We have already identified the remaining three suspects, and they will also be nabbed soon. Our team has been trying to trace them. We also have video evidence of the assault,” stated a police officer involved in the investigation.

A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including assault, kidnapping, criminal intimidation, house trespass, unlawful assembly, rioting, and unlawful assembly with common intention. The police are committed to ensuring a thorough investigation and bringing all involved parties to justice.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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