Police deny permission for "Kiss of Love" in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Nov 25: As it raised a storm of protest, the proposed "Kiss of Love" event here on November 30 has been denied permission by police, saying it would lead to public display of affection and other obscene act barred under law.

The planned event against moral policing had earned opprobrium from all political parties in the state who found it unacceptable, besides raising the hackles of right-wing organisations which have threatened to counter it. [Exclusive: Bengaluru Youth not supportive of Kiss of Love campaign]


"...we have come to the conclusion that if we permit this particular programme, it will lead to public display of kissing and such other obscene act as defined under sec 294 of the IPC," Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi said.

He said Sec 294 of IPC bars any obscene act in public places, and prevention of any cognisable offence under IPC or any other law imposed is the fundamental responsibility of the state police under the Karnataka Police Act.

[Also Read: Bengalureans are you ready to take the Kiss of Love?]

"In keeping with the responsibility that rests upon us as per the KP Act we have decided to deny the applicant the permission to hold any such programme called Kiss of Love."

Several leaders from ruling Congress, BJP and other parties were on the same page giving thumbs down to the event, saying moral policing should be fought in a different way and not through public display of acts which could be obscene.

Home Minister KJ George had said earlier, "obscenity in the name of protests will not be tolerated" but protesters were free to hold demonstrations within the constitutional framework.

Similar events had been organised at Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

Karnataka State Women's Commission Chairperson Manjula Manasa had asked the Home Department not to permit the "uncivilised" event which was also contrary to our culture.

"We have examined the application very carefully as there is a background to this programme called Kiss of Love....;" Reddi said, adding there was the absence of any clear programme laid out by the individual who has applied (for permission). 

After considering the background of similar incidents, the police had come to the conclusion that the event will lead to "public display of kissing and such other obscene act as defined under Sec 294 of the IPC," Reddi told reporters.

The first "Kiss of Love" event was held in Kochi on November 2 after an attack on a coffee shop by pro-Hindutva activists in Kozhikode in October who alleged that it was harbouring canoodling couples.

Similar events had been organised at Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

Reddi said "One Ms Rachita Taneja had approached the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Division) a few days ago and gave an application requesting that she may be permitted along with her other friends and followers to hold what is called Kiss of Love programme."

He said she was requested to provide more information about the event like what would happen in the programme and the number of people who would gather.

Two days later, she had reverted saying she was not sure of number of people who would gather and also that she does not take any responsibility for any untoward incident that might happen.

The Commissioner also warned those who might attempt to take law into their hands to prevent such events.


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