Bhubaneswar: The day of love is here and preparations for celebrations are in full swing in the city. The parks will remain closed as a precautionary measure but restaurants and cafes would welcome guests with interesting offers and discounts. But that would not deter activists such as the Bajrang Dal from roaming the streets and catching love-birds ‘red-handed’
The police Commisonerate have taken stringent steps to ensure safety of the couples and has also asked the parks to keep the premises open on Valentine’s Day but after experiencing problems in the last few years, the parks have decided to keep the premises closed. Twin City police chief Satyajit Mohanty said that all public places will be guarded by cops. There will be 24-hr mobile patrolling by PCR vans and a number of police personnel will be deployed in and around public places in plain clothes across the city. “Around 12 to 15 platoon force would be deployed in different parts of the city,” Mohanty added.
He asked youngsters to celebrate the day ‘decently’ and avoiding any obscenity which may lead to untoward incidents.
Meanwhile, Manas Mohanty, convener of Odisha Bajrang Dal, said that they will stay off streets and not indulge in any kind of violent activities on Valentine’s Day. However, they will continue to protest against the ‘western tradition’ via social media.
He said “We oppose Valentine’s Day calmly and peacefully every year. Over the last few days, some anti-social elements have indulged in violence in the name of Bajrang Dal. Due to these people, Bajrang Dal got a bad name. We oppose the concept of Valentine’s Day as we believe that love had not originated on this day and we will object to it through social media and will not indulge in any violent activities.”
He also went on to add that they want to spread the message through social media that Lord Krishna is the icon of love and the youth should worship him on Janmashtami and not celebrate Valentine’s Day which is a Western concept. Also love-birds should stay away from public display of affection (PDA) as it is not a part of Indian culture.
In spite of the assurance from Bajrang Dal and the Police Commisonerate, couples should be on alert as Nari Sakha, Kalinga Sena’s women wing, has warned couples that those celebrating Valentine’s Day will be handed stinging nettle (Bichuati).
Subhadra Dash, leader of Nari Sakha said, “Couples occupy parks, malls, hotels ad indulge in PDA on Valentine’s Day. We oppose that and if they continue in this manner we will give them stinging nettle. We have planned to bring together 300 students from various colleges to undertake this task.”