Valentine’s Day: Hyderabad cops deny entry to couples into parks near Hussain Sagar

DCP (central zone) Vishwa Prasad, however, claimed that the news was "false."
Two police constables standing with lathis at People's Plaza
Two police constables standing with lathis at People's Plaza

The Hyderabad police on Sunday set up barricades around the roads leading to Sanjeevaiah Park and NTR Gardens near Hussain Sagar in the city, preventing couples from accessing the public spaces, which are known for celebrating Valentine’s Day. Only married couples were allowed entry. The police said that the decision to close down the parks was to avoid public nuisance caused by right-wing organisations like the Bajrang Dal, who engage in moral policing of couples on Valentine’s Day.

“All the parks were open, but only for married couples. ‘Lovers’ (unmarried couples) were denied entry as it will cause problems,” a police officer said, referring to the moral policing by Bajrang Dal. TNM also confirmed the incident by visiting the spot on Sunday. Police personnel said that they had been deployed as there was a blanket ban on visitors, as couples started arguing with them. A report by the Times of India and a photo story by Deccan Chronicle also confirmed that unmarried couples were discriminated against.

Clipping from Deccan Chronicle newspaper

Despite evidence suggesting that the police indulged in moral policing, rather than providing security to citizens, to seemingly avoid a confrontation with the Bajrang Dal, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Zone, P Viswa Prasad, said that the reports were “false”.

“We had inputs that Bajrang Dal and other groups opposing Valentine’s Day might hurt the couples. So we had erected barricades to prevent them. The barricading was to check for these elements. They were not meant for the couples. Police were patrolling the area and they did not intervene in anyone’s affairs. All the parks were open. The police were deputed to prevent people who were to cause disruption,” he said.

Denying the discrimination, the DCP added, “One Jersulem Mattaiah, who opposes the ideology of the right-wing wanted to cut a cake in celebration of Valentine’s Day. And Bajrang Dal wanted to disrupt his event. To avoid the confrontation between these two groups, we had stepped up our security and eventually Mattaiah did cut the cake at Ambedkar statue in Nallagutta. All pro-Valentine’s Day celebrations were allowed. There was no obstruction from the police.” 


Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute