Lucknow University has issued a circular telling students not to wander inside its premises on Valentine’s Day, ANI reported on Tuesday. The university, in the circular dated February 10, said that disciplinary action would be taken against those who violate the directive.

An unidentified student told ANI that the university’s order was an example of “choti soch” (narrow-minded thinking). “You’ve declared a holiday on that day, but telling students not to enter university premises isn’t right at all,” he said. “If we won’t enter the university, then who will?”

Shiv Sena conducts a “stick puja”

In Muzaffarnagar city, the Shiv Sena conducted a “stick puja” on Sunday and said that the weapons would be used to “teach a lesson” to couples on Valentine’s Day, The Times of India reported.

“Our workers will visit restaurants and hotels and conduct checks on February 14,” the Shiv Sena’s deputy head for Uttar Pradesh Lalit Mohan Sharma said. “We have also warned owners of such establishments not to organise Valentine’s Day events. There could be a risk of property damage, for which the owners themselves will be responsible.”

Shiv Sena member Lokesh Saini claimed that Valentine’s Day celebrations increased the risk of “love jihad”. “This is not our culture. Our people will be deployed in parks and schools. If we find someone in an objectionable position, we will teach him a lesson,” Saini added.

Muzaffarnagar Superintendent of Police Omveer Singh said they would deploy an adequate number of personnel at public places on Wednesday. “Nobody will be allowed to take the law into their own hands,” he added.

Bajrang Dal warns restaurants in Hyderabad

The Bajrang Dal has warned pubs and restaurants in Hyderabad not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Deccan Chronicle reported. Members of the outfit approached some outlets in Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills areas, and asked the owners not to organise any Valentine’s Day event.

“It is not in Indian culture to celebrate such events and we should not let the foreign culture in,” Vishal Prasad, who is in charge of Bajrang Dal’s Hyderabad unit, told the daily. “We have been telling people about how the youths are getting influenced, ruining their career and creating a public nuisance also.”

P Chandra Sekhar, an inspector with the Jubilee Hills police station, said 23 teams would be deployed around the city to check any untoward incident. Prasad told the Deccan Chronicle that the police had asked the Bajrang Dal not to marry off couples on Valentine’s Day.

It is against Indian culture, say Hindutva groups in Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, a Hindutva outfit on Tuesday asked the district administration to ban Valentine’s Day celebrations, PTI reported. Such celebrations are against Indian culture and tradition, Hindu Makkal Katchi president Arjun Sampath told reporters.

Two other outfits – the Sakthi Sena Hindu Makkal Iyakkam and the Bharat Sena – had asked the district administration on Monday to prevent young couples from celebrating at public places, The Hindu reported. The members of the Sakthi Sena Hindu Makkal Iyakkam had also staged a demonstration in front of the Coimbatore (South) taluk office.

VHP chief supports Valentine’s Day celebrations

Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Pravin Togadia on Monday lent his support to Valentine’s Day celebrations, the Hindustan Times reported. “If couples don’t fall in love, there will be no marriages,” Togadia told VHP and Bajrang Dal supporters in Chandigarh. “If there are no marriages, the world won’t progress. Young men and women have the right to love.”

Togadia told reporters that he had directed party workers not to hold protests on Wednesday. “I have passed on the message that our daughters and sisters also have the right to love,” he said.