Bhopal: Members of Hindu groups manhandled men and women and blackened their faces in Madhya Pradesh during protests against Valentine’s Day Tuesday even as 35 activists were arrested.
Hindu organisations like the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiv Sena had warned people, especially the youth, against celebrating the day, saying Valentine’s Day was against Indian culture.
Activists of the organisations began vigils in several cities since morning, going around on two-wheelers to prevent couples from meeting in parks and restaurants.
But the presence of a large number of policemen at such places deterred them from harassing the couples.
However, with the police vigil relaxing as the day passed, the activists became more active.
In state capital Bhopal, a group of activists entered Kamla Park, a popular haunt with the young, and manhandled canoodling couples. The boys were made to do sit-ups and squats.
The activists also created a ruckus at a restaurant and a shop selling Valentine’s Day cards.
In Satna district, activists rubbed grease on the face of a youth who was caught with a girl in a park.
Another youth from Indore city also faced the same ordeal for meeting his girlfriend in a park.
Police arrested 35 Bajrang Dal and VHP activists as a precautionary measure from a locality in Indore. The men were armed with hockey sticks and rods and intended to patrol the city to stop couples from celebrating the day.
Shiv Sena activists in Rajgarh district of central Madhya Pradesh damaged a garments shop that had offered a discount to mark Valentine’s Day.