A “Kiss of love” protest planned by a group of youth against “moral policing and vigilantism” in Alappuzha district of Kerala on Sunday was foiled by police on the ground that it could lead to violence with the opponents attacking the gathering. The organisers, calling themselves “kiss-of-love” workers, had planned to mobilise several youth to join the beach in the city to demonstrate by openly hugging and kissing, but were removed by police before they could reach the spot.Police were deployed in strength in the area fearing that the protest would meet with strong opposition from workers of Shiv Sena and some Hindu outfits. As many as 41 people who were on their way to the beach to join the programme were removed by police.Inspector General of Police M R Ajith Kumar said no arrest was made but only the protesters were removed from two spots in the city and they would be let off soon. Later, some of the youth re-assembled at another spot and came down heavily on the police action, dubbing it as “fascist and anti-democratic.”The first “kiss-of love” protest in Kerala was organised in Kochi in November 2014 against the attack on a hotel in Kozhikode, allegedly by workers of the BJP’s youth wing. Since then, similar campaigns had been held on a minor scale in different parts of the state, for which participants were mobilised by appealing through social media.
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