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In an alleged incident of moral policing, Shiv Sena activists caned couples sitting at the Marine Drive walkway in Kochi on Wednesday evening. The harassment took place in the presence of policemen and mediapersons. A police sub inspector was suspended and eight constables were transferred for their failure to prevent the harassment.
Police said the Sena activists took out a procession, with a banner “stop love under umbrella’’ on Wednesday. They then verbally abused the couples and threatened them to vacate the walkway, they said. Some of the Sena supporters then caned the couples and asked them not to return to the walkway anymore, said police. The situation was brought under control after more policemen reached the spot.
Six Sena activists were arrested in connection with the incident. The arrests were made under charges of causing public nuisance and holding procession without police permission. However, no one has complained against the harassment and caning so far, said police.
A few days back, Sena activists had “warned’’ couples against sitting at the walkway. This comes two weeks after a youth committed suicide after he and his friend were harassed at Azheekkal beach in Kollam on Valentine’s Day. Visuals of the couple being harassed had gone viral.
A few years ago, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists had vandalised a hotel in Kozhikode, alleging immoral activity. The protest against the attack evolved into a major campaign, “kiss off love’’, at the Marine Drive in Kochi.