Mob Attacks Priest for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Teen in Karnataka

A married priest was attacked by a mob in Mangaluru for allegedly being gay & misbehaving with a 19-year-old.

Published
India
2 min read

In a disturbing video that is doing the rounds on social media, a priest in Karnataka’s Mangaluru was brutally attacked by a mob earlier this month, under suspicion of being gay and allegedly sexually abusing a 19-year-old.

Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told The Quint that Lokesh Pujary, believed to be in his 40s, was manhandled and his hair nearly completely tonsured by the mob, that also consisted of women. He has not sustained serious injuries.

“There was no complaint by the priest. We have taken suo moto action and registered an FIR against both parties. Based on the video, we have detained three people, we are identifying more and will be arresting them soon. The locals were angry over his alleged misbehaviour with a local 19-year-old man and that is why they attacked him,” Patil said.

“Since the priest’s alleged act was involuntary and forceful, IPC section 377 has been applied in the FIR,” Patil told The Quint.

Cases have been registered against both the attackers and the married priest. A case under section 355 of the IPC (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person has been registered against members of the mob.

The Video Being Circulated

In the video that is over 4 minutes long, Pujary can be seen being pushed around and manhandled by several persons in the middle of a road.

According to the police, Pujari was a priest who used to perform the daiva patri (a type of ceremony) and was not the priest at any temple.

In the blurry, phone camera footage that has since made its way across social media, the mob can be seen misbehaving with Pujary even as he is pulled and pushed around by holding his hair. A blue razor is seen being brandished about by a member of the mob, which is later used to shave parts of his head, including the traditional tuft of long hair. Pujary can be seen dressed in a blue shirt and a maroon lungi.

The video starts with the irate crowd making Pujary kneel in the middle of a road, with a number of bystanders. Locals can be seen pushing the man around, asking him to apologise and roughing him up. He tries to reason with the crowd but fails. As the situation grows more violent, Pujary is repeatedly slapped on the face, hit on the upper body and finally, has his head shaved and his hair cut by a sickle by the unruly mob.

While a number of women can be seen attacking Pujari and raging against him in the viral video, cops said that no woman has been arrested so far in the case lodged at Barke police station.

Attacked for ‘Misbehaving’ With 19-Year-Old

According to the police, Pujary was targeted by the mob as the suspicion of him sexually abusing a 19-year-old youth grew among the locals. Soon after the news spread of his ‘misdemeanour’, the mob is said to have attacked him.

“Since the priest’s alleged act was involuntary and forceful, IPC section 377 has been applied in the FIR,” Patil told The Quint.

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