Police deny permission to Kochi kiss protest

Police deny permission to Kochi kiss protest

Police deny permission to Kochi kiss protest

The planned “kissing protest” ran into trouble on Wednesday with the Kochi police denying permission for the event citing possibilities of a law and order problem. 

“Kiss of Love”, an initiative against moral policing mobilised through Facebook, was planned to be held at Marine Drive in Kochi on November 2. Organisers of the event had urged participants to gather around at the venue on Sunday with placards supporting open expression of love and welcomed couples to kiss as a show of protest.

The police said permission was denied following “reports” that the event could attract counter protests from citizens and politically affiliated groups. Kochi Deputy Commissioner R Nishanthini told Deccan Herald that there may be a law and order breakdown.

“We have decided against permission for the event. The protestors have the right to assemble and voice their opinions but the police will intervene if it leads to a law and order crisis. We will formally convey our concerns about the event to the organisers,” Nishanthini said.

The event’s organisers, however, decided to go ahead with the protest. “We are yet to receive a formal denial of permission. The protest will be held on the scheduled day and time because we are not indulging in anything illegal,” said Rahul Pasupalan, a filmmaker and campaigner for the event. 

Marine Drive  also witnessed a scuffle on Wednesday as some men intercepted the event’s promoters who were organising a demonstration and interacting with crews of television channels. Pasupalan said two men tried to manhandle the protesters after snatching and tearing their placards.

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