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Sri Ram Sena's bizarre V-Day threat

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: February 05, 2009 20:06 IST
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Unfazed by the outrage over its attack on a Mangalore pub, the self-styled moral brigade of the Sri Ram Sena on Thursday threatened to forcibly "marry off" couples dating in public on Valentine's Day.

Addressing a press conference at Bengaluru on Thursday, the Sena founder Pramod Muthalik said that if girls and guys could date in the open then he sees no harm in them being married off.

Muthalik said that his activists would hold protests at hotels, hostels and colleges where Valentine's Day celebrations are held.

Muthalik announced that he had formed five teams to go around the city on Valentine's Day. "Our team members would have a video camera and also a tumeric stub. If our team member finds anyone dating, we will force them to get married . We will take the couple to the sub-registrar's office and the marriage will be solemnised," he said.

He termed Valentine's Day as anti-Indian culture and urged educational institutions and the police to help discourage this. "There is a need to safeguard our culture and we will do everything in the book to ensure that this happens," he added.

The Shri Ram Sena has also submitted a memorandum to the Bengaluru city police commissionerĀ in which they have sought help to ban Valentines Day. In the memorandum, the Sena has also assured of a peaceful protest on Valentine's Day, if it is celebrated in Bengaluru.

Muthalik, however, said that the entire operation would be a peaceful and that they will take the help of the police. When questioned what he would do if the government refused to support his initiative, he said that they would think about it if the government let them down.

"I have directed all members not to intimidate the students and make them understand about our culture," he said.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is non-committal on whether it would support the Sena but added that they were against the celebration of Valentine's Day as it was not part of Indian culture.

The police however say that they are geared up for February 14 and added that all measures will be undertaken to ensure that the city is peaceful.

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Vicky Nanjappa