Mangalore: In a suspected moral policing incident, a 28-year-old man was allegedly stripped and assaulted in full public view by members of fringe right-wing outfits for being with a girl of another community here.
But the girl alleged that she was being harassed by the man who also misbehaved with her and claimed that she was in fact rescued from him by the group.
Shakir was stripped and tied to an electricity pole before being beaten up last evening, police, who rushed to the spot when the photos of the incident went viral on social sites and were flashed on local channels, said. Shakir was later hospitalised.
The Mangaluru City police swung into action and arrested 15 persons.
Shakir claimed that the girl had asked for money and he was assaulted while he was giving her the cash. He was initially kicked and assaulted by two persons and others joined them later, he said.
However, giving a different version, the girl meanwhile lodged a complaint with a women's police station, alleging she was being "harassed" and "blackmailed" by him.
In a new twist, the girl who was with him during the incident said Shakir had forcibly tried to pull her into his car yesterday, when it happened. The girl, who spoke to reporters, said the man, who was working with her in a super market had been sending messages to her over phone for the last few months and had tried to misbehave with her a couple of times.
She also alleged that he was blackmailing her saying he had a video clip of her sitting in his car and requested the police to take action against him.
Sporadic incidents of moral policing, particularly cases involving different communities have been reported in Dakshina Kannada district, raising concerns.