The Shiv Sena on Thursday indefinitely suspended party workers from Kerala who harassed couples at Kochi’s Marine Drive walkway and caned them.
Distancing itself from the moral policing incident, the party’s youth wing chief and Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s grandson Aaditya Thackeray, said on Twitter, “The incident in Kochi, Kerala, is shameful and unnecessary. The party will not shield or endorse such acts. The said persons involved in the act in Kochi have been immediately suspended from the party’s membership indefinitely.”
The members Sena suspended had taken out a procession under the banner, ‘Stop love under umbrella’ on Wednesday.
They verbally abused couples sitting on Kochi’s Marine Drive and threatened them. Some party workers even caned them, despite the presence of police personnel and the media.
The Sena has traditionally resorted to moral policing in its home turf of Mumbai, with its workers driving away couples from public places and protesting against Valentines’ Day celebrations. However, it has become more tolerant to the event following the emergence of Aaditya Thackeray as the party’s youth face.
With Mumbai’s fast-changing demographics and the Sena’s ambitions to politically grow in other states, the party has of late become more modern, tolerant and inclusive.