People standing in a queue in front of a liquor shop in Kerala beat up a man and his wife, objecting to the presence of a woman in the queue.
The incident, which happened in Parappanangadi in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district, has led to alarm among liberals and women’s rights activists in the state.
It is one of a series of ‘moral policing’ incidents involving vigilante groups, especially those linked to religious groups.
In the latest episode, a couple who came to buy liquor at a government owned store were slapped, beaten and verbally abused by a group of men, also at the store.
Onlookers took mobile footage of the incident.
The couple were rescued from being paraded on the road as moral deviants when they were rescued by the local police. However, the vehicle that the couple were dispatched in was again stopped by morally outraged people and the couple were subjected to further abuse, according to local media reports.
No case was registered against the attackers as no one came forward with a complaint, police officials said.
Consuming alcohol is a sin, according to Islamic tenets.
In November, Shahid Bawa, 29, died after he was tied to an electric pole and beaten with iron rods and other lethal weapons by a group of 15 people. He was accused of visiting a house inhabited by women alone in Mukkam near Calicut.
Last month, a Dalit youth Babu was found dead, reportedly after a group of people brutally tortured him on the street accusing him of having an illicit relationship with a young woman.
Babu was shamed after footage showing him totally naked and hand-cuffed and being beaten up mercilessly by a group of men in Koilandy, near Calicut, went viral. The victim was shown crying and pleading with his attackers for mercy.