'Kiss of Love' protest in Kochi today after Shiv Sena's moral policing

Shiv Sena activists allegedly chased away young men and women who were sitting at Marine Drive at Kochi yesterday.

Kochi: 'A Kiss of Love' programme will be held at Marine Drive grounds on Thursday in Kerala to protest against the alleged moral policing by the Shiv Sena, organisers said.

A group of people on Facebook called for the programme after Shiv Sena activists allegedly chased away young men and women who were sitting at Marine Drive area yesterday.

"Kiss of Love programme (will be) at Marine Drive today at 4 PM against moral policing by the Shiv Sena," the group posted on its Facebook wall.

Police said a central police sub-inspector was suspended yesterday for failing to stop the Shiv Sena's "moral policing" while eight police personnel, who were on duty when the incident occurred, were transfered to the Armed Reserve police camp.

A similar 'Kiss of Love' programme was held in Kochi in 2014 to protest vandalism by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists at a hotel in Kozhikode. It was held amid protest by various outfits and those who participated were taken into custody.

The call for the 'Kiss of Love' agitation came today amid ongoing protests by the DYFI and the SFI activists at Marine Drive. The Congress and its student wing KSU have also called for protest against Sena's "moral policing".

The campaign involves volunteers coming to the Marine Drive and hugging and kissing each other.

Six activists of the Shiv Sena have been taken into custody in connection with yesterday's incident which has come in for condemnation from both the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress.

TV news channels had aired video footage showing a group of marching Shiv Sena activists, wielding sticks and chasing away young men and women from Marine Drive, a tourist spot.

The incident had occurred allegedly in the presence of police.

Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain had condemned the incident and asked the police to take strong action against those involved.

( Source : PTI )
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