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Protest kissing event ends up in street fight

press club of india, Indian Tehalka News

‘Kiss On The Streets,’ a protest kissing event planned by the little-known Njattuvela Cultural Forum Against Fascism on New Year day, ended in an open street fight with activists of the radical Hindu outfit Hanuman Sena in Kozhikode on Friday.

The police arrested 15 Njattuvela activists, including six women, and 16 Hanuman Sena workers, from the venue near the District Library. They were booked under sections 147 (rioting), 160 (punishment for committing affray) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC.

According to Njattuvela workers, the Kiss On The Street protest was planned as a sequel to its campaigns against “Brahminical hegemony and the caste system.” However, its secretary Swapnesh Babu had earlier said that the event would also help youngsters of either sex to “declare the status of their relationships and their decision to live together.”

Intent on preventing the event, Hanuman Sena workers had camped from early in the day at the venue. As soon as the Njattuvela workers arrived, the former surrounded and attacked them, which the latter countered with nailed sticks and wood pieces. Tension prevailed in the area for around two hours as the two groups beat up each other and more people started converging at the spot. The police resorted to a lathi-charge and hauled up 31 people belonging to both sides.

P.A. Aneeb, a journalist with the ‘Thejas’ daily, was also taken into police custody after he was allegedly spotted amid the ‘Njattuvela’ workers who tried to manhandle the police. The journalist, who was later admitted to Government General Hospital in Kozhikode, alleged that he was beaten up by the Town police for his attempt to save a physically challenged man who was roughed up by the police from the spot of protest.

City Police Commissioner P.A. Valsan said the police intervened as the street fight was getting out of hand. “We did not arrest anybody just for being a part of the ‘Kiss on the Street’ protest,” he emphasised.

Speaking to The Hindu on phone, Mr. Valsan also clarified that the journalist was arrested for assaulting a policeman posted at the venue of the protest.

From: The Hindu

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