COIMBATORE: Organizers of the ‘Kiss of Love’ protest, who had managed to stand undeterred against the barrage of abuse and threats by right-wing extremist groups, seem to have finally accepted defeat in their plans to stage the protest. Interestingly, it was not the threats by fundamentalist elements that forced them to abort their attempt, but the victimisation they suffered at the hands of the Kovai police.
The cyber crime cell here had managed to track down the three-member team of administrators running the ‘Kiss of Love - Coimbatore’ Facebook page and summoned them for inquiries on Sunday and Monday.
The three administrators, all college students, were questioned by the cyber crime cell inspector, a deputy commissioner and also the commissioner.
Cops had threatened to snitch on the conduct of the organizers to their parents and had gotten their phone numbers, sources said.
One of the activists told Express that he was “disappointed” as the group was only trying to create awareness about the perils of moral policing. The activist said that he was particularly disturbed that the police, who were “doing so many good things in the city,” had “misunderstood” their cause and had landed them in trouble by complaining to their parents.
The organizers maintained that they had not announced a date for the protest, nor a venue or the nature of the protest, which contradict the police’s affirmation that the mall was forced to shut shop on the day when rumour mills were working overtime about the protest. Eventually, the business establishment suffered losses to the tune of “crores of rupees”. However, this claim of the police was vehemently denied by the organisers.
Defending his team’s conduct in complaining to the’ parents, Commissioner A K Viswanathan said that it was done in “good-faith” and did not register an FIR considering their career.
Cyber Crime Cell inspector S Muthumalai confirmed that the students have decided to give up the event. One of the organisers said that though they had not yet made a concrete decision on whether to call off the protest.