Saffron activists today forced young men and women to get married and burnt scores of Valentine's Day cards but young couples enthusiastically celebrated the occasion which also saw a Shiv Sena corporator entering into wedlock in Mumbai.
Young men were forced to marry their beloved when they were spotted together in public places at Hyderabad and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. Authorities in Hyderabad kept major parks like Krishna Kant Park and others closed as a "precautionary measure".
In Jammu, Hindustan Shiv Sena held a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations and burnt scores of cards meant for the occasion. It said the celebrations were against the "culture and ethos of the country" and alleged that it promoted vulgarity.
A group of over 50 Bajrang Dal activists forcibly entered the Bagh-e-Bahu park in Jammu and targeted young boys and girls. However, police intervened and forced the activists out of the park.
That he belongs to a party which has often slammed Valentine's Day celebrations, did not come in the way of Sena corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar as he tied the knot with an IT professional in suburban Borivli in Mumbai.
"This is an arranged marriage...The mahurat was good and so it happened that we are getting married on Valentine's Day," he said.
Romance was in the air as malls, restaurants and popular hangout zones soaked in the colour red with the young and old displaying their affection for their loved ones in many ways.
Cupid struck couples exchanged gifts, roses and thronged cinema halls and other popular hangouts.
In Delhi, while florists worked through the night preparing heart-shaped bouquets for the day, gift shops and restaurants prepared special deals and packages. SPAs and salons are also offering pampering sessions for couples on discounted prices.
In Allahabad, over 500 "green Kumbh" participants from more than 45 countries carried out a rally at the Maha Kumbh mela to declare river Ganga as country's 'green valentine'.
Meanwhile, parents of a girl held demonstrations at Kushaiguda police station alleging that the members of the right-wing Hindu organisation conducted the marriage of their daughter, who, they claimed is a minor.
They further alleged that the girl is a cousin to one Raju, a painter with whom her marriage was solemnised by the activists.
They had already lodged a complaint with Banjara Hill police station last night after the girl went missing, they said adding that that the activist who spotted Raju with the girl today had performed their marriage.