A local court on Monday acquitted right-wing Ram Sene President Pramod Muthalik and 30 others in the pub attack case here in January 2009 for want of evidence.
“Citing lack of evidence from the prosecution, the magistrate acquitted me and 30 others of our organisation who were charged by then BJP government in the state,” a much relieved Muthalik told reporters.
About 40 Sene members allegedly attacked the Amnesia pub in the port city, about 360 km from Bengaluru, in protest against western culture and western dress of the customers, including women.
“Cases were filed against us under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) without evidence and witnesses. The court has proved us as honest and acquitted all of us,” asserted Muthalik.
Condemning the alleged moral policing of the right-wing activists, the then deputy commissioner filed the case in a local court for allegedly flouting Indian tradition, culture and values.
After vandalising the pub, the activists allegedly assaulted the women who were dressed in western clothes and seen dancing to the loud music.
“Our protest was an instant reaction against women who flouted traditional Indian norms of decency. They were Hindus who dared to get close to Muslim men,” recalled Muthalik.
The incident sparked off nationwide outrage against Muthalik, with youngsters launching a “pink chaddi Campaign” in protest against moral policing by sending him pink innerware.