Nearly 10 activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its affiliate Bajrang Dal were detained on Wednesday after they allegedly tried to chase away young couples who had gathered at the Sabarmati Riverfront on Valentine’s Day.
The VHP claimed it only asked the couples to leave the spot, a popular hangout place for youngsters, and that its members did not attack anyone.
On getting information about the action of the right-wing outfits at the riverfront, the police rushed to the spot and took into custody those who were threatening the couples and asking them to leave.
A police official said they detained around 10 people from the spot.
“We have detained some people, and deployed adequate police force at the spot to prevent any untoward incident during the day,” Sabarmati Riverfront Police Station inspector S J Baloch said.
In some videos recorded by passers-by purportedly of the incident, several people carrying saffron flags and wielding sticks could be seen threatening couples to leave the spot.
The activists were also seen chasing away some frightened couples, who either ran away to save themselves or drove off in a hurry on their two-wheelers.
The city unit of the VHP on Tuesday said it would stage protests on the riverfront against the Valentine’s Day celebrations, which, the outfit claimed was “against Indian culture”.
Taking responsibility for the incident, VHP media coordinator for north Gujarat, Hemendra Trivedi, said, “As announced by us, the VHP and Bajrang Dal members today held protests at the riverfront. We only asked couples to leave. We did not attack anyone.”
“Several of our workers were detained by the police. We are against the celebration of the Valentine’s Day because it is against Indian culture,” Trivedi said.
Image: Members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad shout slogans during a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations. Photograph: PTI Photo