It was a highly charged but overall peaceful Valentine’s Day across India with no anti-social incidents occurring in Bengaluru, Bhopal and other sensitive cities where saffron outfits had taken to the streets on earlier occasions.
In Bhopal, the police kept watch at parks and other public spots and there was patrolling throughout the city. However, right-wing activists weren’t seen at such spots.
Surprisingly, more couples were seen at the temples, apparently, as they felt it was safer there. “We felt it was better to come here today. The view from here is breathtaking”, a young couple on the premises of the Laxmi Narayan temple said.
Things were not as smooth in Bareilly though, as police resorted to lathi charge in a few areas to drive away Shiv Sainiks who were staging a demonstration against Valentine’s Day. Police also took five right-wing protestors into custody and seized several vehicles.
In an interesting twist to the lover’s tale, a lover couple landed in police net as the boy, Shaan, with the help of his girlfriend and four friends, tried to extort Rs 1 crore ransom from his father after faking his own kidnapping. The couple had planned to go to Goa and stay there together after getting the money.
Shaan’s father Alam Siddiqui has a well established business of wood furniture and is also involved in real estate business.
SSP Yashasvi Yadav said their planning failed and all six people were arrested. He said the youngsters had planned the kidnapping drama after watching a crime sequence of the Ajay Devgan starrer Bollywood blockbuster ‘Singham’.
The SSP said two accused — Rahul and Madhur — were first arrested when they come to collect the ransom amount. He said the youngsters had asked Shaan’s father to drop the bag containing cash on the road.
Bajrang Dal activists insult couples in Kanpur
Valentine’s Day turned out to be a nightmare for several couples on Saturday as Bajrang Dal activists manhandled and insulted them at different places in the city.
Couples were seen being chased out of parks, the Ganga barrage (a popular picnic spot) and other isolated places — despite police assurance to provide security. At some places, the Bajrang Dal men assaulted the lovebirds, with some of them sustaining injuries.
Upon receiving an SOS call, the Kotwali police, headed by station house officer Hari Ram Verma, rushed to a mall at Bara Chauraha and forced the Bajrang Dal men to leave the place. Sources said about 30 Bajrang Dal activists roamed around the city on bikes, threatening and terrorising couples along the route. At Ganga Barrage they misbehaved with several couples even hurled expletives at girls.
The miscreants later reached the zoo where they beat up a man and forced his partner to touch the feet of all activists. They asked the couples several religious questions to take stock of their religious knowledge. At Motijheel they misbehaved with a man and his sister-in-law whom they compelled to touch their feet before chasing them away.
Kanpur’s IG Ashutosh Pandey has ordered action against the culprits.
Akhilesh inaugurates new ‘love seat’ at Taj Mahal
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav along with wife Dimple Yadav celebrated Valentine’s Day, in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal at Taj Khema as the CM inaugurated a ‘lovers’ seat’ — 300 meters away from the famed monument.
The newly inaugurated lover’s seat marble bench has been installed in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal in Taj Khema, on a newly built mound. All work on the mound was completed within five-six days.
The move, which is an attempt to boost tourism, will prove beneficial for tourists who visit Agra on Friday — when the Taj is closed — as they can now also see it from the Taj Khema bench.
Princess Diana had visited the monument in 1992 and clicked photographs on a seat situated on the central tank. The seat, which was later named after her, is a popular tourist spot for tourists and photographers alike.