Members of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad allegedly harassed couples at the Sabaramati Riverfront in Ahmedabad on Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, PTI reported. In videos recorded by passers-by, several people carrying saffron flags and wielding sticks could be seen threatening couples, the agency said.
The police later detained 10 activists. “We have detained some people, and deployed adequate police force at the spot to prevent any untoward incident during the day,” Sabarmati Riverfront Police Station Inspector SJ Baloch said.
However, the VHP claimed that it only asked couples to leave the spot, and did not use force. “As announced by us [on Tuesday], the VHP and Bajrang Dal members today held protests at the riverfront,” said Hemendra Trivedi, the VHP’s media coordinator for North Gujarat. “We only asked couples to leave. We did not attack anyone.”
Bajrang Dal activists protest in Hyderabad and Nagpur
The Bajrang Dal also staged a protest in Hyderabad against Valentine’s Day celebrations. On Tuesday, the organisation had warned pubs and restaurants in Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills not to organise events for Valentine’s Day.
The Bajrang Dal had also organised a rally in Nagpur on Tuesday. “If couples have the right to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we have the right to save our culture,” they had said. They also warned that they would marry off couples seen celebrating on Wednesday.
Animals married off
In Chennai, an organisation called the Bharat Hindu Front conducted a “marriage ceremony” of a dog and a donkey on Wednesday in protest against the day.
Pro-Kannadiga outfit Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, on the other hand, married two sheep in Bengaluru in support of Valentine’s Day. “We should not object to the celebration cause love does not have any community or caste,” its leader Vatal Nagaraj said. “The Centre should declare one-day holiday for love. The state government should give Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh to any couple who marry for love.”