Ahmedabad: Bajrang Dal thugs ran amok on the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad on Valentine’s Day scaring away young couples.
Organisations like the Bajrang Dal have been protesting against the celebration of Valentine’s Day, alleging that celebration of days like these promotes “love jihad”.
Carrying sticks and shouting slogans like “Jai Shri Ram”, about two dozen activists of the Bajrang Dal came to the riverfront road on motorcycles and began chasing young couples who were standing or sitting along the road. The scared youngsters were seen scampering to safety as fast as they could. A few Bajrang Dal men even walked down to the walkway of the riverfront and began chasing away couples from there as well.
Policemen, who were stationed at the entrance of the Riverfront Park rushed to the spot and detained a few Bajrang Dal activists, but after they have unleashed fear among young couples for at least 10 minutes.
After he was detained, Nikunj Parekh, Vice President of the city’s Bajrang Dal unit, said that they will continue to protest against Valentine’s Day. “This protest is not against love but against a display of vulgarity. We will continue to protest against Valentine’s Day celebrations even if the police acts against us.”
The Bajrang Dal has equated Valentine’s Day celebrations with love jihad.”It has come to our notice that there is a huge spike in cases of our community girls being lured away during days like this one. Valentine’s Day is connected to love jihad,” Parekh claimed.
When reminded that VHP international president Pravin Togadia had reportedly told VHP cadre in Chandigarth a few days ago that Valentine’s Day events should not be disrupted as youngsters had to the right to love, Parekh said that this protest was not against love but vulgarity and “love jihad”.
Meanwhile, before the Bajrang Dal arrived on the Sabarmati riverfront, city bajrang Dal president Jvalit Mehta was detained by the police. Jvalit and a few Bajrang Dal men were detained and packed off in a police van to the headquarters from Usmanpura Char Rasta.
After being detained, Mehta said“Bajrang Dal activists are being detained even before any protest. This is unfair. I intended to talk to couples and reason out with them as to why we are protesting against Valentine’s Day celebrations.”