In response to Shiv Sena activists allegedly moral policing couples at the Marine Drive in Kochi on Wednesday, dozens of volunteers came out in large numbers at the venue to protest the right-wing party’s act. The volunteers, which included artists, writers, activists and transgenders, from the ‘Kiss of Love’ movement, hugged and kissed each other at Marine Drive in front of the crowd. Protesters also drew paintings, raised slogans, performed street plays and sang songs. Corresponding processions were taken out in other parts of the state as well, such as the one at Thiruvananthapuram, where the protest march was led by DYFI and the ruling CPI(M) party. “We want to create a platform against moral policing,” an activist said.
WATCH VIDEO | ”Kiss Of Love” Protest Carried Out Against Shiv Sena’s Alleged Moral Policing In Kochi
The protesters came together after a group of people called for the procession on Facebook. Protests by youth organisations such as DYFI, SFI, KSU and AIYF were also carried out at different locations in Kochi against Shiv Sena. Carrying canes, activists from AIYF marched towards the office of the Shiv Sena in Kochi.
The protest was carried out amid tight security by the Kerala police, who had come under the scanner on Wednesday for their inaction against the Sena activists allegedly harassing the youngsters.
The protest saw the opposition as well as members of the BJP’s youth wing, the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, take out a procession at another location at the Marine Drive to oppose the ‘Kiss of Love’ movement. They, however, also opposed the alleged moral policing by Sena activists.
According to news agency PTI, one sub-inspector was suspended and eight police persons, who were on duty at the time of the incident, were transferred to the Armed Reserve Police camp. The police have also arrested six Sena activists in connection with the incident, under the charges of public nuisance and holding procession without police permission.
No youngster has come forward with a complaint against the Sena, as of now.
Activists from the right-wing political party has given a “warning” to youngsters at the Drive a few days ago. Two week back, a youth had committed suicide after an act of moral policing by the Kerala police Azheekkal beach in Kollam on Valentine’s Day.
A video of the harassment of the couple had gone viral on social media.
Prior to this, in another act of moral policing, the BJYM had, a few years ago, ransacked a hotel in Kozhikode citing ‘immoral activity’ going on in the hotel. The ‘kiss of love’ started as a mark of protest against vandalising, in 2014. It had started as a local protest, but spread to other parts of the country soon. The protest was started after a post by a group on Facebook had called for the march on November 2, 2014, at Marine Drive on Kochi.