The Ahmedabad unit of the VHP on Tuesday said it would stage protests on the Sabarmati riverfront against the celebration of the Valentine’s Day.
Self-proclaimed ‘moral police’ from RSS-backed Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its affiliate Bajrang Dal on Wednesday turned out in full force in several parts of the country to protest and disrupt the celebration of Valentine’s Day in India.
Reportedly, activists of the right-wing groups chased away young couples who had gathered at the Sabarmati Riverfront, a popular hangout place for youngsters in Ahmedabad. While the VHP claimed that it only asked the couples to leave the spot and did not attack anyone, the Sabarmati Riverfront police reportedly detained 10 members of the group.
According to the police, on receiving information about the group’s actions, officials rushed to the spot and took into custody activists who were allegedly threatening the couples.
Sabarmati Riverfront Police Station inspector SJ Baloch said, “We have detained some people, and deployed adequate police force at the spot to prevent any untoward incident during the day.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Ahmadabad unit of the VHP said it would stage protests on the riverfront against the celebration of the Valentine’s Day, claiming it was “against Indian culture”.
VHP media coordinator for north Gujarat, Hemendra Trivedi, said, “As announced by us, the VHP and Bajrang Dal members today held protests at the riverfront. We only asked couples to leave. We did not attack anyone.”
Further sharing a post on Twitter, he said, “Several of our workers were detained by the police. We are against the celebration of the Valentine’s Day because it is against the Indian culture.”
The right-wing activists had also staged a protest in Nagpur on Tuesday and warned couples against visiting public areas. In Chennai, members of the Bharat Hindu Front performed a marriage between a dog and a donkey to protest the celebration of the Valentine’s day.
Also deciding to get animals married – but in this case in support of the V-day – a Bengaluru group, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike organised the ‘marriage’ of two sheep and urged the state government to provide Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to those getting married for love.
Vatal Nagaraj, a member of the KRV said, “We should not object to Valentine’s Day because love does not have any community or caste. Central government should declare one-day holiday for love. State government should give Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh to any couple who marry for love.”
Earlier, the Lucknow University declared February 14 a holiday – but citing the celebration of Mahashivratri and not to stop students from entering the campus on Valentine’s Day.
“In recent years, we have observed that students, influenced by western culture, celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. In this connection, students are notified that the university will be closed on February 14, 2018, for ‘Mahashivratri’,” said university advisory.