Mosques in the eastern town of Kattankudi were forced to make public announcements yesterday, apologizing to and exonerating two teenage girls accused of watching pornography in an internet café.
The loudspeaker announcements were made from nine mosques after a court ruling on Wednesday said the girls were wrongfully accused and ordered the mosques to make the announcements.
The ruling came after the parents of the girls complained to authorities in the Muslim majority town.
“A group of men forcefully took my daughter and the other girl to a local house and beat them up,” said Mohammad Yusuf Abdul Razak, the father of one of the girls.
The men allegedly abducted the 17-year-olds on June 20 as they left an internet café. They then took them to a house where they beat them, before dragging them in front of local Islamic officials.
Loudspeaker announcements around the predominantly Muslim town were later made saying the two girls had been caught watching pornography, prompting a large crowd to gather to denounce the girls.
The incident angered the parents of not only the teenagers, but also many local people from all religions who are becoming increasingly concerned by the activities of Muslim hardliners in the area.