Hindu right-wing militants harass couples on Valentine's Day in India

According to reports, Bajrang Dal (BD) activists raided parks and hotels in the state's Pilibhit town, about 300 km from here, and "apprehended" several couples and handed them over to the police.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad claimed it had asked the people to leave the spot, a popular haunt of the young, and that its members did not attack anyone.

In Hyderabad, Bajrang Dal members create ruckus at Hyderabad's Manjeera Mall and also staged a protest against Valentine's Day.

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". In videos recorded by passers-by, several people carrying saffron flags and wielding sticks could be seen threatening couples, the agency said.

It seems fringe groups won't leave anyone at peace on Valentine's Day, including animals. The Hindu outfit has warned that couples found celebrating this "alien" festival in public, will be married off with immediate effect.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Ahmadabad unit of the VHP said it would stage protests on the riverfront against the celebration of the Valentine's Day, claiming it was "against Indian culture". The protesters were however later detained by police.

Later in the day, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike organised a marriage function of two sheep in Bengaluru as a mark of support to Valentine's Day. He said, "Viral hit of "Manikya Malaraya Poovi" is the answer to RSS' Valentines Day protest". Central government should declare one-day holiday for love.

Nagaraj also requested the state government to pay people who marry for love.

His message was in reply to a Delhi university student who wished the chief minister a happy Valentine's Day.

Vanessa Coleman