Bhubaneswar: Despite the Commissioner of Police Satyajit Mohanty’s assurances to provide necessary security for lovers on the Valentine’s Day, couples in the Temple City refrained from visiting parks and other public places to celebrate the day Thursday. Their fear stemmed from the fact that a local fringe outfit, Kalinga Sena, had threatened to attack couples engaging in indecent activities at public places on the Valentine’s Day with ‘bichuati’ (stinging nettle).
Most couples felt threatened and decided to stay indoors to avoid harassment or moral policing by the anti-Valentine activists. As a result, the major parks in the city – Jayadev Vatika, Indira Gandhi Park, Science Park were found closed throughout the day.
The women’s wing of Kalinga Sena along with others assembled at the Esplanade Mall in Rasulgarh and shouted slogans against Valentine’s Day celebrations. They were seen warning couples of dire action if the latter were found behaving indecently inside the mall. However, they did not carry ‘bichuati’ plants. The activists were later taken into preventive custody by the police.
The Commissionerate Police deployed 15 platoons to avoid any moral policing or violence on the occasion.
On the other hand, activists of Bajrang Dal, a right wing outfit who have always been at the forefront during protests against Valentine’s Day celebrations, stayed away from picketing this year. They took out peaceful rallies in various parts of the state, including the capital city. Bajrang Dal activists were seen advising young couples to shun the ‘Western tradition,’ which, they said, was against Indian culture.