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Valentine's Day protests planned in India's Rajasthan
dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday February 13, 2007

New Delhi- Affiliates of a Hindu right-wing organization and a leftist party in India's Rajasthan state have issued warnings against the celebration of Valentine's Day, news reports said Tuesday. Organizations affiliated to the Hindu Shiv Sena party, the students' wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Sanskriti Bachao Samiti organization, which opposes Western cultural influences, issued separate statements in Rajasthan capital Jaipur saying they would stop young couples from indulging in public display of affection on Valentine's Day, PTI news agency reported.

The organizations said they would "blacken the faces" of young couples found "displaying their love" in public places and and would burn Valentine's Day cards outside gift shops.

Students Federation of India leader Sanjay Madhav said "unsocial elements" will not be allowed to "distort" Indian values.

The Shiv Sena's students' leader Govind Khandelwal said a demonstration would be organized outside the district office in Jaipur on Wednesday.

Sanskriti Bachao Samiti president Amit Punia said members of his organization would move around the colleges and university campuses to "detect couples abusing public places."

Right-wing Hindu groups in recent years have staged protests and ransacked stores selling Valentine's Day merchandise, protesting against "the onslaught of immoral western culture."

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency