Moral police runs riot in capital

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  • Published 15.02.10

Ranchi, Feb.14: Moral police ran riot on Valentine’s Day in the capital, humiliating and chasing away lovebirds from parks and ransacking stalls selling greeting cards.

City’s hot hangout addresses wore a deserted look throughout the day even as the police arrested Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal workers for ransacking Archies Gallery, situated at GEL Church complex.

The incident took place around 2pm at GEL Church Marketing Complex under Lower Bazar police station area when saffron brigade members started raising slogans against Valentine’s Day and started harassing young boys and girls entering the stall. “Sensing trouble, we informed the police who rushed at short notice and chased away the hooligans and also arrested many of them,” said owner of Archies Gallery, Kundan Kashyap.

The members of the saffron brigade later staged demonstration at different parks and beat up and chased away lovebirds. Fearing further backlash from the moral police, most lovebirds preferred to remain indoors. Sidhu Kanhu Park and Nakshtra Van, otherwise bustling with couples, were closed after 1pm, while Machli Ghar remained closed throughout the day. Other popular hangout addresses — Rock Garden, Jaquir Hussain Park and Tagore Hill — saw a thin presence of visitors.

But senior police superintendent Praveen Kumar underplayed the issue. “The day was a little bit troublesome, but by the evening it became alright. Those picked up during the day have been released on personal bonds. Now the situation is under control.”

But district president of Shiv Sena Devendra Kumar Sharma justified the protest. “We are against Valentine’s Day celebrations. Why should we pollute our precious values with this waste of the Western culture?” he asked.

While members of the saffron brigade chose the occasion to stage demonstrations, students of Marwari College gave a new dimension to Valentine’s Day celebrations.

They spread the message of love for humanity by organising a blood donation camp. As many as 75 students from Institute of Sciences and Management, Gossenor College and IGNOU donated blood.