New Delhi: Wearing wedding attire and carrying placards reading "Fall in Love, Not in Line", around 150 protesters Saturday gathered outside the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha's office here to protest against the outfit's moral policing, but were detained by police.
These protesters, mainly from the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student's Union (JNUSU) and from different organisations, gathered at the Mandir Marg office of the right-wing outfit which had declared that they will marry off the couples who would express their love for each other by any "indecent" means.
"We are witnessing continuous vandalisation of churches, massive communal frenzy, cases of brutal rape. The government too has shown its characteristic apathy and inaction but when students groups organise peaceful protest against moral policing, it takes not more than 10 minutes to crack down voices of opposition," said JNUSU president Ashutosh Kumar.
However, these protests didn't deter the Mahasabha from doing what they had said.
The website of the organisation claimed that they have successfully married off couples at a wedding ceremony held at their Delhi office.
"On this occasion we have also done religious purification(shuddikaran) of a few Muslim and Christian couples and have brought them back into the Hinduism," the statement said.
"We strongly believe that celebration of Valentine's Day is an international conspiracy to destroy the Indian culture," it added.
Early in the morning, wearing masks and carrying posters like "Koi na Koi Chaye" (You Need Someone) "Mujh Se Shaadi Karogi?" (Will you marry me?), these protesters reached their office for the sake of "keeping up their promise" of marrying couples on the Valentine's Day.
"We wanted to tell them that that they can't dictate terms to us. Love is no crime and so is Valentine's day. We protested because we believe in freedom of all sorts of expression, including love," said Varun Kumar, one of the protesters.
Around noon, these protesters were detained and taken to the Parliament Street police station.
Soon after they were detained, the protest videos were quickly shared on the official Facebook page of "Shud Desi Romance - Everyone weds Anyone" who had openly invited struggling lovers to the Hindu Mahasabha office.
These videos showed how the protesters were telling the policemen to not detain them as they "will miss their wedding" and were shouting "Haq Humara Azaadi" - throughout the march.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jatin Narwal told IANS that these students were released by 5.30 pm.
The Mahasabha also lamented the fact that the Delhi Police didn't allow them to have a "dialogue" with the protesters.
"Even though the Delhi Police didn't allow us to meet these couples who wanted to get married, yet we have been able to prepare these young couples for marriage and have generated awareness about it," it said.