'Kiss of Love' deferred after police refuse permission

'Kiss of Love' deferred after police refuse permission
After Bengaluru police rejected permission for the 'Kiss of Love' campaign that was proposed for tomorrow, the organisers today decided to postpone the controversial event for a future date.

"In order to allay their fears, we have now issued a detailed reply to the police which clearly outlines our intention behind organising the event. Therefore, we are postponing the event (Kiss Of Love) to a future date based on their reply," the organisers said in a statement here posted on Facebook.

The organisers had earlier announced that they would go ahead with the event tomorrow, defying police order which had refused to give a nod to it, contending it would be an act of obscenity.

The planned event had earned opprobrium from all political parties in the state who found it unacceptable, besides raising the hackles of right-wing organisations which have threatened to counter it.

The organisers contended that the "Kiss of Love" is protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and expression.

It is also legally wrong to presume that an act is obscene without seeing it in the larger context of the meaning behind the act, the organisers added.

The organisers also said they have alerted the police to a number of judicial precedents on the point and hope they would reconsider their decision so that they can hold the event on another day without any disruptions.

The organisers said they approached the police after they received number of threatening calls and messages.

"There has been a fair amount of uncertainty in the build up to the event, and we received a number of threatening calls and messages. Consequently, we approached the police to seek their assistance and protection in conducting the event," they said.

The organisers said on November 27, the police informed that the event could not be held as it amounted to an obscene act and sought more details about the number of participants, among others.

In order to allay their fears, the organisers said they have issued a detailed reply to police, clearly outlining their intention behind organising the event.

"We have stated that the intention is not to create a spectacle, nor to engage in any obscene acts and certainly not to create any public nuisance," they said.

"We have asserted our right to engage in a peaceful protest and to use the 'Kiss of love' event to bring to attention the dangers of rising moral policing in India and in Karnataka," they added.

The first "Kiss of Love" event was held in Kochi on November 2 after an attack on a coffee shop by pro-Hindutva activists in Kozhikode in October who alleged that it was harbouring canoodling couples. Similar events had been organised at Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

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