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Moral police spoils V-Day party

THE FEAR of moral police apparently kept the lovers from going to parks and other public places on the occasion of St Valentine?s Day in the Capital on Tuesday.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 01:35 IST

THE FEAR of moral police apparently kept the lovers from going to parks and other public places on the occasion of St Valentine’s Day in the Capital on Tuesday.

As there were hardly any youths in the parks, markets, restaurants and other public places, there were no major confrontations with the Bajrang Dal activists who marched the streets in search of the youths under ‘corrupted Western influence’.

There were minor incidents though at Ten Number Market and MP Nagar. Unidentified motorcycle-borne youths arrived at the Archie’s Gallery at Ten Number Spot in the afternoon and one of them after raising the shutter of the gallery hurled a stone that damaged the glass.

Also, a group of motorcycle-borne youths threw stones at the Milan Restaurant at MP Nagar resulting in a crack in the glass. The Habibganj and MP Nagar police have registered separate cases for mischief and act endangering safety against unidentified youths.

Besides, a couple was manhandled at Kamla Park and made to do sit-ups holding their ears. Superintendent of Police Anant Kumar Singh said that efforts were on to identify the offenders. “In the other two cases, the hunt was on for the accused”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena activists remained on the prowl through out the day. They took out a vehicle rally and searched for the lovers but mostly in vain. At Boat Club there was a sizeable presence of police and the Bajrang Dal activists but the youths did not turn up. The youths were seen even less on roads compared to the usual days.

The groups of Bajrang Dal activists moved in various localities but by evening looked tired and were seen sitting exhausted at New Market.

The threats issued by the Bajrang Dal seemed to have worked and also going by past experience the couples avoided going out to the preferred spots.

In the evening the effigy of the Valentine’s Day was set afire at Roshanpura by the Bajrang Dal activists. Meanwhile, police were deployed at markets, shops selling gift items, and even flower shops, apart from the parks and public places. The shop-owners said that the sales were good enough. Lot of shopping was done on February 13 itself.

Some activists of Bajrang Dal were carrying vermilion, mangal sutra and garlands along through out the day so as to forcibly solemnise the marriage of any couple found during the day. But the deserted parks and other public places gave them no such opportunity and they had to return in the evening without executing their plans.

Youths go to outskirts
THOUGH THE couples avoided going to public places in the City this year, most of them chose to go to places where the Bajrang Dal was not likely to disrupt their revelry. Bhojpur emerged as the top destination. Lovers thronged this spot because there was no threat from the Bajrang Dal there.

A large number of youths had their rendezvous at Kerwan, Birla Mandir, dhabas on the Hoshangabad Road, Raisen and even Sehore.

The cinema halls were also preferred destinations. “Some youths had gone to the Boat Club in the morning but sensed possibility of foul play and so decided to stay away from trouble”, said Atul, who celebrated the V-Day at his friend’s farmhouse. “This year several couples went together rather than going alone and risking security”, he added.

Also, due to the hot weather, the celebration was subdued. But the mood was changing as dusk descended. With moral police getting tired, the youths came out on the streets in the evening.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 01:35 IST