Mangaluru: A group of people including women assaulted a religious person serving as 'Daiva Pathri' (divine interpreter) alleging he was involved in homosexual activities at Bikarnakatte in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

Videos and pictures of ‘Daiva Pathri’ Lokesh Poojary being assaulted went viral on social media. His hair was cut off by the group of people who attacked him.

Poojary was attending an event, when he was caught and beaten up. The group questioned Poojary and thrashed him repeatedly. After beating him up, the group demanded that he apologise.

The bangle worn by 'Daiva Pathris' which has religious significance was also forcibly removed and his hair was cut off.

People gathered there expressed anger against the group that assaulted Poojary. They claimed that it was an insult to the Daiva (deity) and manhandling a person who is serving the God, for whatever reason may be was not right.

However, details are not available if a complaint has been filed in this regard. But as the news spread, it is said that police would file a complaint voluntarily.

Who is a Daiva Pathri?

Mangaluru is a place of various beliefs. People of the region (especially Tulu language speaking communities), believe in Daiva or deities strongly. Apart from worshipping Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu among other Gods, the people here equally believe in deities like Kallurti, Koragajja, Panjurli, Koti Chennayya and others. The deities are believed to be the protectors of the villages and the people residing there.

Every family has a family deity and offer prayers to it at least once a year, where the entire family gathers. They conduct religious events like Bhoota Kola and Nema, where it is believed that the God enters a person's body and answers queries of people and provides them solutions. This religious person is called a Daiva Pathri. Usually they wear a bangle that has religious importance and they sport long hair.

* Image used for representative purpose only