Threats by rightwing outfits to disrupt Valentine’s Day celebrations by youngsters in Karnataka has prompted Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to step in.
The home minister wrote to Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday to ask the state government to take punitive action against organisations that try to become “self-styled arbiters of morality”.
The home minister said there were reports that the Rashtriya Hindu Sena (RHS) and Sri Rama Sene (SRS) were organising protests against celebration of Valentine’s Day and making statements that were “a threat to law and order”.
An official at the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Centre had been tracking developments in Karnataka after SRS activists attacked couples at a Mangalore pub on January 24.
Without specifically referring to the pub attack, Chidambaram said the Centre had been following developments in the state due to the “mischievous and high-handed activities” of the SRS and RHS.
Nudging the state government to firmly deal with the outfits, the home minister indicated that the state was expected to take steps to ensure that no organisation became a self-styled arbiter of morality and did not indulge in illegal activities and activities that disrupt law and order.
Chidambaram’s letter also offered to extend central assistance to the state, if required, an oblique reference to central forces if the state ran short of policemen for deployment.