’Women must have freedom to walk around with respect’
Mangalore, 31 Jul 2012: Some of the men who were victims of the attack at Morning Mist Homestay said on Monday that women victims should appear in public to be more confident to face people.
The men addressed a gathering at a protest meet at St. Agnes College here on Monday.
Vijay Kumar (left) and Gurudath Kamat, who were beaten up during the attack on a homestay in Padil on Saturday, participating in the protest meeting at St Agnes College in Mangalore on Monday.
Gurudath Kamat, one of the boys who were attacked at the home stay, said, “Show girl power, show woman power. Women must have freedom to walk around with respect. That is what Vijay Kumar, another victim of the attack, and I want to do now”.
He told the students to create as much awareness as possible. Addressing the students, he said, “There is no mistake (on our part).”
Mr. Kamat said that a group of 13 to 14 young people had gone to the home stay because they could not celebrate their friend’s birthday in any other place. “You can’t party at home, you can’t party at clubs, then where else should we go?” he said. There was some alcohol and the friends took some photos and videos. At 5.30p.m., when they were in the balcony, 30 to 40 people arrived and began hitting them and asking them what they were doing.
Later, speaking to reporters, he said: “My mom knows them (the girls), they have food with us, my mom was furious (about the attack on them all).” Young people did not want to live in fear. “The Constitution says there is a right to freedom and to equality, why is not followed?” he said. Vidya Dinker, social activist, told the students to use Facebook, mobile phones, internet and make best use of technology to show everyone including the government and the media, that girls and boys are equal. “Get your parents to support you so that Mangalore is safe for young people,” she said.
The policemen at the college gates recorded their arrival on video but they did not stop them from going to the college, said Dalton, President, Mangalore University All College Students Association. He said that the group had visited 25 out of 175 colleges. They had visited St. Aloysius, SDM College of Business Management, Besant Women’s College, Sharada College and Adarsh College. One institution did not host them and they were not allowed, according to sources. The protest ended with the students singing “Happy birthday” for Vijay Kumar.
Students were then asked to leave the college grounds in groups of four. No classes were held for the day at St. Agnes College.
At St. Aloysius College, hundreds of students, besides staff and management members, participated in a protest meet.
Swebert D’Silva, principal, said that the incident was abhorrent. Young people especially had to ensure that the administration gets to know that such behaviour is not acceptable in Mangalore. The media is also responsible for such events. If the media knows what is going to happen, they must tell the police. “They can’t just record,” he said. A roar and whistles followed. Some students said that girls should learn karate to defend themselves.