Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Feb 14:
The activists of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Friday conducted a Valentine Birodhi Sachetanata Rally and chased away couples celebrating Valentine’s Day at parks and elsewhere in the city.
The Bajrang Dal members targeted young couples at parks, internet café’s, Archies stores and different shopping malls in the city. Couples were seen running helter skelter for cover in a mall today when a large group of Bajrang Dal workers invaded the area and chased away any couple that came their way.
Since well-known rendezvous points like the Indira Gandhi Park, Forest Park were closed in the afternoon, today, the Bajrang Dal activists indulged in vigilantism in malls like the Big Bazaar and Pantaloons.
Manas Pani, an activist of Bajrang Dal said they observed Matru Pitru Diwas on the Valentine’s Day today at Vivekananda Sikhshya Kendra at Chandrasekharpur.
“The main aim of the Diwas is to enlighten the young generation to understand importance of parents and their duty towards their ‘Matru and Pitru’, Pani said, adding, around 1000 parents participated in the event.
Pani further said the anti-Valentine Day drive was conducted to fight the negative influences of western traditions and culture.
“There is nothing wrong in imbibing positive aspects of western culture, but our drive is against obscenity in the name of westernisation. Valentine’s Day is one such obscene celebration,” he said.
Some young couples complained that police were mute spectators when they were humiliated and subjected to abusive language by the anti-Valentine squads in the shopping malls they visited today. They alleged that police were encouraging the squads instead of protecting the couples.
However, the twin city Police Commissioner Dr R P Sharma said no one had filed any complaint with the police so far about such incidents.
“The allegations are untrue as we have instructed our personnel to ensure the anti-Valentine’s Day activists do not cause public nuisance or indulge in vandalism,” he said.