Sena,Bajrang Dal act spoilers on Valentine's Day

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Activists of the Shiv Sena today staged a protest against the Valentine's Day celebrations near a college of the Delhi University.

They burnt Valentine's Day cards, and shouted slogans against the ''Western'' concept. They also burnt an effigy of St Valentine, the priest of love.

The protestors also distributed handbills among the students, saying the celebrations were against Indian values.

Some Bajrang Dal activists even forced few couples to put ''sindoor'' or tie ''rakhis'' at some places.

Justifying their actions, Bajrang Dal's media in charge Vinod Bansal said,''In many cases, the guys were just indulging in immoral acts, in the name of Valentine's Day. We wanted them to at least express their sincerity and give their commitment. While many refused, some agreed to the sindoor ritual.'' Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jai Bhagwan Goel, chief of the party's North India unit, said there are umpteen number of Indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Id and Raksha Bandhan to express feelings of love, unity and brotherhood. ''Why do we need to celebrate this festival which misleads the youth and encourages them to commit immoral acts at public places.'' He said the youth are enticed into celebrating this festival by restauranteurs, shop owners through huge advertisements and special offers.

Delhi Bajrang Dal leader Ashok Kapoor said,' We will not tolerate any damage to our ancient culture and values. Valentine's Day is totally a Western concept. Couples indulge in public display of love which is against our ethos. We should not let Western culture spoil us.'' They should rather be taught to celebrate Vasant Utsav, said Shailendra Jaiswal, deputy chief of Bajrang Dal, Delhi.

In the past few years, activists of the Bajrang Dal, which has launched a 'save Hindu culture campaign', have indulged in violence, invading gift shops and restaurants, burning cards and disrupting festivities and raged through threatening couples on this Day.

Bansal said,''This year, we did not organise any protests but our activists went about in groups to various locations and urged couples not to commit any vulgar acts in public.'' UNI MMG SHB VC1655

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