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Last Updated Saturday May 23 2020 04:48 PM IST

Activists smooch, sing and dance at 'Kiss of Love' protest in Kochi | Pix, Video

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Activists smooch, sing and dance at 'Kiss of Love' protest in Kochi Activists hug and kiss during the protest against Shiv Sena's moral policing | Photo: Josekutty Panackal

Kochi: Dozens of volunteers of the 'Kiss of Love' movement Thursday hugged and kissed each other at Marine Drive here as a mark of protest against the alleged act of moral policing by Shiv Sena activists.

The volunteers, including artists, writers, activists and transgenders from various parts of the state, converged at Marine Drive, where the Sena activists allegedly chased away young men and women Wednesday.

Similar protests were held in different parts of the state, including at Thiruvananthapuram where the DYFI, the youth wing of the ruling CPM, took out a march.

The protesters performed streetplays, drew paintings, sang songs and raised slogans in the presence of a huge crowd, before hugging and kissing each other at Marine Drive, a picturesque promenade facing the backwaters here.

Also read: Moral brigand in Kochi: Shiv Sena rounds off women's day with a cane lash | Video, Pix

Shocked Kochi erupts in protest against Shiv Sena's moral cops

"We want to create a platform against moral policing," one of the activists told reporters.

The police, facing flak for failing to stop the Sena activists Wednesday, had put in place a tight security at the protest venue to prevent any untoward incident.

The 'Kiss of Love' event was held following a group of people calling for the agitation on Facebook.

A large number of activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, also assembled at Marine Drive, albeit at a different location. They raised slogans against the 'Kiss of Love' event as well as the alleged act of moral policing by the Shiv Sena.

The port city also witnessed several other protests staged by various youth and student outfits, including the DYFI, SFI, KSU and AIYF, against the alleged act of moral policing.

Kiss of Love Activists hug and kiss during the protest against Shiv Sena's moral policing | Photo: Josekutty Panackal

CPM district secretary and former Rajya Sabha MP P Rajeev inaugurated the 'Sneha Irippu Samaram' (love sit-in protest), organized by the DYFI and SFI at Marine Drive.

AIYF activists, wielding canes, took out a protest march towards the Shiv Sena office here.

Meanwhile, the police said a central police sub-inspector was suspended for failing to stop the Shiv Sena activists Wednesday, while eight police personnel, who were on duty at the time of the incident, were transferred to the Armed Reserve Police camp.

Six Shiv Sena activists have been arrested in connection with Wednesday's incident.

TV news channels had aired video footage of a group of Sena activists wielding sticks and chasing away young men and women from Marine Drive.

Meanwhile, All Shiv Sena workers involved in the moral policing of youngsters on Marine Drive in Kochi have been suspended from the party.

When the incident made headlines, the police arrested six Shiv Sena workers - T.R. Devan, K.Y. Kunjumon, K.U. Ratheesh, A.V. Vineesh, T.R. Lenin and K.K. Biju - on the charges of assault and preventing the police from discharging their duties.

Kiss of love protests first started in 2014 against acts of moral policing in Kerala.
A Facebook page named 'Kiss of love' started the movement which received widespread support from youth across the country. After the initial march in Kochi, similar protests were held in different parts of the country.

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