Kochi

Lathicharge at ‘kiss’ event in Kochi as rival groups clash

Members of a right-wing Hindu outfit attack a group protesting against the 'Kiss of Love' event, mistaking them for campaigners of the event, in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Members of a right-wing Hindu outfit attack a group protesting against the 'Kiss of Love' event, mistaking them for campaigners of the event, in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat  

The organisers tried to take out a march from Ernakulam Law College to the venue, but were prevented from doing so.

A few couples and dozens of youth activists kissed and hugged each other amid jeers from rival groups and repeated caning by police at the Marine Drive here on Sunday.



The occasion was the ‘Kiss of Love’ protest against moral policing.



The police had to wield the cane repeatedly when thousands who had descended on the Marine Drive to prevent the campaigners from public display of affection turned restive.



The crowd, comprising activists of religious outfits and the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the Congress, far outnumbered the ‘Kiss of Love’ campaigners.



Initially, the police tried to defuse the situation by arresting about 30-odd organisers and supporters of the event, even as they were getting ready to hold a march from the Ernakulam Law College to Marine Drive with placards.



However, there was no sign of the rival groups relenting, and as evening progressed traffic in the Marine Drive area came to a halt, forcing police to resort to caning and use of pepper spray to disperse the crowd.



Police put the number of ‘Kiss of Love’ campaigners taken into custody at 80. They were let off late in the evening.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 7:31:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kiss-of-love-organisers-taken-into-custody/article6557810.ece

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