BANGALORE: After their recent attack on young women at a Mangalore pub, the Sri Ram Sene has now announced an action plan to target couples found dating on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
At a press conference here on Thursday, Sri Ram Sene leader Pramod Muthalik, who is now on bail, said Sene activists across Karnataka would not only hold protests outside colleges, hostels and hotels, where Valentine’s Day celebrations are held, but also forcibly marry off couples found dating in public.
“Our activists will go around with a priest, a turmeric stub and a ‘mangal sutra’ on February 14. If we come across couples being together in public and expressing their love, we will take them to the nearest temple and conduct their marriage,” he said. If the couples resisted the move, the girl would be forced to tie a ‘rakhi’ to the boy.
Mr. Muthalik said his outfit would ensure that Valentine’s Day greeting cards were not sold. Activists would check out stores that sold such cards.
Asked if his men would use physical force against those celebrating Valentine’s Day, Mr. Muthalik said they “will not take the law into their own hands.”
Reacting to Mr. Muthalik’s statement, Karnataka’s Home Minister V.S. Acharya said: “The law will take its course against those indulging in any untoward activity, including violence. We will not bar exchange of pleasantries on Valentine’s Day, but people cannot use the occasion to indulge in unlawful activities.”
On Mr. Muthalik’s threat to forcibly marry off unmarried couples seen in public places on Valentine’s Day, he said: “Let them first commit such an offence and then the law will be enforced.”
The Bangalore City Police have taken Mr. Muthalik’s threat to disrupt the celebrations seriously and is reportedly considering a proposal to take him and other Sri Ram Sene leaders into preventive custody.