Kerala High Court on Friday refused to interfere with the proposed ‘Kiss of Love’ programme here on Nov 2 which is being organised to protest moral policing, after the state government assured action will be taken in the event of any illegal activities.
When two petitions seeking to prohibit the holding of the event by a group of Facebook users came up in the court, the government informed sufficient police would be deployed and action taken if any illegal activity took place at the event.
Recording the submission, a Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique disposed of the petitions filed by two students of the Ernakulam Government Law College and the Sri Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust, Thiruvananthapuram.
The petitioners submitted that the event was a violation of the provisions of the IPC and the Kerala Police Act and also against Indian culture. The law students wanted a direction to the Ernakulam District Collector and City Police Commissioner to prevent ‘obscenity in public’.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, in a Facebook post, said he believed that the right to protest was a fundamental right and should never be questioned or suppressed. But the protesters should not create a law and order problem. If any such situation arises, police will not hesitate to take action.
Chennithala also warned that stern action will be taken against those indulging in moral policing.
The ‘Kiss of Love’ campaign, is a call by group of “Free Thinkers” led by short film maker Rahul Pasupalan, to come to Marine drive on Nov 2 to hug and kiss each other.
They have called for the programme to protest against the vandalism by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha volunteers on a hotel in Kozhikode last week, alleging that immoral activities were going on there.
The organisers were yet to get permission from the police, but have decided to go ahead with the event. VHP has come out against the programme, pointing that kissing in public was against Indian culture.
However, it has denied reports that it would take steps to physically prevent the programme from being held.
“VHP will not take law into their hands to prevent people from participating in the event,” a statement from the state unit of the organisation said.
BJP state wing Vice President, M T Ramesh, said in Thrissur that the saffron party would not prevent holding of the event.
Moral policing and violent protests were “not BJP’s cup of tea”, he told reporters.