Kochi moral policing: Shiv Sena suspends attackers amid protests
10th March 2017,09:01Am
A day after Shiv Sena activists caned couples sitting at the Marine Drive walkway in Kochi, several people were seen hugging and kissing each other at the same location to register their protest. The party, meanwhile, indefinitely suspended the members who had caned the couples on Wednesday. The Kiss of Love protest, with street theatre performances, songs and pictures, was attended by volunteers from across the state. Earlier in the day, activists of DYFI, the CPM’s youth wing, held a “love sitting” at Marine Drive.
Replying to an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly that there were serious lapses on part of the police in preventing the incident and the government would not tolerate moral policing.
BJP state general secretary K Surendran, however, said the Sena attack was sponsored by the CPM. In a Facebook post, Surendran said the Sena had recently been backing CPM on all issues and the government wanted such an attack to divert public attention from other issues, including the assault on Dalits.
Criticising the Sena members, Aditya Thackeray, the Yuva Sena chief, tweeted: “The incident in Kochi is shameful and unnecessary. The party will not shield or endorse such acts. The persons involved in the act have been immediately suspended from the party membership indefinitely.” Six Sena activists were arrested in connection with the incident.
To Protest Moral Policing, Kisses And Hugs At Kochi’s Marine Drive
March 10, 2017 01:51 IST
Kochi: Slogans and kisses of victory filled the air in Kochi’s marine drive on Thursday, as hundreds of people gathered to protest against moral policing and to reclaim their rightful space. “We want to change mindsets. What is happening is not democratic,” says Lasar Mazhavil, one of the protesters. It was here on Wednesday that a group of Shiv Sena members chased couples away with sticks, shouting at and harassing them, as some policemen looked on.
Six Shiv Sena workers have been arrested. Aditya Thackeray, son of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, suspended the six accused indefinitely from the party. One police official has been suspended for alleged inaction, and nine others have been transferred.
Targeted by the opposition, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan posted on Facebook, “Marine drive incident is a shame to Kerala. Won’t allow any moral policing or goondaism in the state. These people think they can continue in the old ways of patriarchy, of subjugating women.”
Last month, a 22-year-old man was found hanging outside his home after he and his female friend were filmed, abused and attacked by a group of men on Valentine’s Day at an isolated spot on a beach in Kollam. Their video was uploaded on social media by a group of five men, all of whom were arrested.
But it was on February 22, that a couple took on the state police, as they took to the Facebook to question the moral policing by women in uniform. Vishnu was heard asking, “Tell us what vulgur activity have we done? Did we kiss? There are cameras here? Did we hug each other? You cannot harass us just because I have my hand on her shoulder.”