Similar reports from Agra said the activists offered ‘Lathh Puja’ (baton worship) to stop lovebrids from venturing out to celebrate the day.
The local unit of the Shiv Sena at a meeting on February 10 had decided that it would oppose Valentine’s Day celebrations, said sources. Sena’s Saharanpur Mandal head Manoj Saini said, “The allegation of thrashing is baseless. Our men had gone there only to advise the couples.” He said Valentine’s Day celebration was a violation of Indian culture and the Sena would oppose it on February 14.
In Agra, Shiv Sainiks held a ‘Lathh Puja’ at Hanuman Temple and warned people against celebrating V-Day. Reviewing the law and order situation, the police said tight security would be in place on February 14.
SSP (Agra) Subhash Chandra Dubey said, “With student elections at the university being held on the same day, there will be extra vigil to maintain peace in the city.”
Shiv Sena chief Veenu Lavania said if people defied the diktat, they would be beaten up with sticks. After the Lathh Puja, about two dozen Shiv Sainiks dispersed to take up their posts at hotels, restaurants and parks. The SSP, however, warned that the police too had enough weapons to tackle those trying to disrupt peace.
In Varanasi, the Shiv Sainiks, instead of issuing threats, took out an ‘Anurodh Yatra’ to persuade youngsters from staying away from celebrations.