A young teenage couple was allegedly forced to marry by a group of six men in Hyderabad on Valentine's Day. A video that is being widely shared online shows a couple surrounded by men with "tilak" smeared on their foreheads. The young man is asked to tie "mangalsutra" (sacred thread worn by Hindu women to signify they are married) around the woman's neck. The man shooting the video is heard saying, "Thank you brother, thank you, sister," and then they huddle around the couple to click a selfie.
The video and pictures were uploaded on social media by the men. The father of the woman received the clip from one of the relatives and informed the police.
The woman's father first went to the girl's college and then to the park. When he could not locate her, he approached the police.
Police confirmed that men who forced the couple to get married were Hindu activists.
"A few Hindu activists came to Kandlakoya Oxygen Park and forced a couple to get married. We are verifying whether the couple gave their consent for it. We will soon identify the accused," senior police officer Padmaja said.
Based on the complaint of the woman's father, a case under IPC sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (registered a case of assault with an intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) was registered.
Subash Chander, State Convenor of Bajrang Dal, denied the group's involvement in the incident. "The activists involved in forcing the couple to get married don't belong to Bajrang Dal. We have already ordered our activists to stay away from such activities and just create awareness among the people," he told news agency ANI.
On Valentine's Day, 74 Bajrang Dal workers were taken into preventive custody at two separate places in the city when they tried to take out rallies without permission, police official said.
"The Bajrang Dal members staged protests in the city to protest against the celebration of Valentine's Day", Kailash S, a representative of Bajrang Dal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The protesters demanded that Valentine's Day celebrations be stopped and also burnt the effigies of Valentine. The group also called upon managements of pubs, bars, restaurants and resorts and asked them not organise any event to celebrate this day.
(With Inputs From ANI)