The ‘broom protest’ staged by a group of women and their children, owing allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging immoral activities on the part of youngsters who frequent the Konad beach in Kozhikode city has triggered off a series of intense protests led by various youth organisations across the State. Soon after the visuals of the alleged “moral policing” went viral on social media triggering wide criticism, the protesters made a fresh claim on Friday that their fight was against youths addicted to drugs who made the beach a safe haven for their activities.
BJP leader Malini Santhosh, who led the ‘broom protest’ on February 8, said that the coastal women came up with the protest unable to withstand “harrowing scenes of sexual activities” by intoxicated youngsters on the open beach. It was creating mental trauma and disgust among children and their parents living closer to the area, she added.
Ms. Santhosh also said the protest was not an intrusion into the privacy of any individual or attempts of moral policing as propagated by some political organisations and activists. “Our fight is against the drug addicted youths who sexually exploit girls in the name of individual freedom. We cannot tolerate this anymore. We have seen many untoward incidents in the area recently, and the response from the police is inadequate,” she added.
Meanwhile, Democratic Youth Federation of India workers who staged a protest near the beach on Friday flaying the alleged moral policing attempts stated that Kerala would not be able to tolerate “goons who appear themselves as ambassadors of morality”. They also pooh-poohed the claim of a few senior BJP leaders that only the drug addicts who misbehaved with girls were the prime target of the protests.Police officers from Vellayil station said they were yet to get petitions from any individual or organisation related to alleged incidents of sexual exploitation or anti-social menace at the beach area. They also added that no such cases had been registered on the beach till date.