Kiss of Love protest in Delhi, 70 detained

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New Delhi, Nov 9: As a gawking crowd watched, scores of activists on Saturday locked lips in the midst of a busy Delhi street to protest moral policing and support the Kiss of Love movement in Kerala. At least 70 protesting students were detained but were let off within half an hour, police said.

The protesters, including many women, mainly from Left-leaning student organisations, gathered outside the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office near Jhandewalan Metro station in central Delhi in the afternoon.

As a few hundred curious onlookers gathered around them, a few of the protesters locked lips. The activists also formed a human chain on the road and blocked traffic.

As word spread of the 'Kiss of Love' protest, some Hindu groups arrived at the spot holding banners that said "Pyar karna theek hai, par sanskriti ke khilaf jana theek nahin hai" (It is alright to love, but one should not go against Indian culture).

The banner had a picture of a kissing couple with a large cross across it.

Soon a scuffle broke out between the protesters and right-wing supporters.

The Hindu groups accused the Kiss of Love organisers of going against Indian culture.

The All India Students' Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students' Federation (AISF) were the student groups participating in the protest.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the RSS, condemned the Kiss of Love protest.

Blaming the Left-leaning organisations involved in Saturday's protest, the ABVP in a statement said: "All the Communists walked the streets of Delhi to kiss (actually smooch) each other publicly with the intention of corrupting young minds and to indulge in immoral activities. Next time, they might sleep together on the roads to fulfil their fantasies.

"Shame on such organisations and individuals who think of themselves as moral police and are forcing their version of Western morality on common people," the statement added.

Photographs of the Kiss of Love protest went viral on social networking websites. The Facebook page of the Kiss of Love campaign had registered over one lakh likes up to 7.30 p.m.

The Kiss of Love protest first started in Kochi last week as a symbolic resistance to the rising moral policing in the state. A similar protest was organised in Kolkata on Friday.

IANS

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