Sri Ram Sene chief, Pramod Muthalik. 
Sri Ram Sene chief, Pramod Muthalik. (Photo: PTI)
  • 1. From a Sangh Parivar Man to an Outcast
  • 2. Failed Shiv Sena Stint and Forming Sri Ram Sene
  • 3. First Association With 'Terror': Hubli Court Bombing
  • 4. When Sene Figured in Malegaon Blast Chargesheet
  • 5. When Sene Raised Pak Flag to Start Communal Riots
  • 6. For Sene, Killer of Gauri Lankesh is a Patriot
Sri Ram Sene: Terror Sympathiser in Moral Police’s Clothes?

The visuals of young women being dragged and beaten in a pub in coastal Karnataka’s Mangaluru, in 2012, had shaken the nation. People from across the country outraged against the man and the organisation behind this violent act of moral policing. But for Pramod Muthalik, the chief of Sri Ram Sene, that attack was their moment of fame.

And Muthalik made the best of it. In a statement to the media he said: “These girls come from all over India, drink, smoke, and walk around in the night spoiling the traditional girls of Mangalore. Why should girls go to pubs? Are they going to serve their future husbands alcohol? Should they not be learning to make chapattis?  Bars and pubs should be for men only. We wanted to ensure that all women in Mangalore are home by 7 pm.”

In the years that followed, the Sri Ram Sene proclaimed itself to be the moral police of the state, by threatening to attack couples on Valentine’s Day and attacking inter-religious couples.

But when all eyes were on the moral policing, this right-wing organisation, which was born out of a rebellion against Sangh Parivar for being ‘too soft on Hindutva agenda’, was involved in several cases of saffron terror.

According to investigators of these cases, despite the organisation distancing itself from the culprits, evidence point to Sene’s fingerprints on at least three terror-related cases, apart from several cases of extortion, political murders and creation of communal disharmony.

Latest among them being the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh.

On Monday, when asked about a possible ban on this organisation, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the government will look into the matter.

Here is a look at the Sri Ram Sene’s history and links to terror. 

  • 1. From a Sangh Parivar Man to an Outcast

    Sri Ram Sene chief, Pramod Muthalik. 
    Sri Ram Sene Chief Pramod Muthalik. 
    (Photo: PTI)

    The rise of the Sri Ram Sene in Karnataka is linked to the political career of its leader, Pramod Muthalik. Muthalik started his career as a grassroot level worker of the RSS. While imprisoned in the Belgaum prison in 1975, during the emergency, he came in touch with senior leadership of the organisation and became a staunch supporter of the RSS ideology.

    In the year that followed, after working for the RSS for more than two decades, he was moved to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which was gaining popularity in coastal and northern Karnataka. Within a year, Muthalik was also given the responsibility of heading the Bajarang Dal, the new, flamboyant Hindutva outfit in four southern states.

    His rise within the Sangh Parivar and the active role he played in 2004 Assembly election victory, according to Muthalik, made many within the Sangh Parivar uncomfortable. Following a ‘smear campaign’ by his colleagues, tensions brew between Muthalik and the senior leadership. Eventually in 2005, he left the Sangh Parivar for their “lack of commitment towards Hindutva ideology”.

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