Rama Sene chief, over 100 others arrested in Karnataka ahead of V-Day (Lead)

February 13th, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 13 (IANS) Right wing Hindu group Sri Rama Sene founder Pramod Muthalik and over 100 others were detained by Karnataka police Friday to prevent them from creating any trouble on the Valentine’s Day Saturday, police said.
Muthalik was taken into custody near Gulbarga, around 600 km from here, while over 130 Sene activists were detained in Bangalore, police said.

“The number (of arrests in Bangalore) will go up by tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” Bangalore city police commissioner Shankar Bidari told IANS.

He said 18,000 police personnel will be on duty in Bangalore Saturday to ensure peace in the face of threat by Muthalik’s outfit to protest Valentine’s Day celebrations as they called it alien to Indian culture.

Muthalik had threatened to marry off young men and women found displaying their affection in public on Valentine’s Day but abandoned the plan in the face of public outrage.

However, he had said Friday that while Sene would keep quiet in Bangalore — as it was weak there, in other parts of Karnataka his men would keep vigil at places where usually lovers hang out and inform police if any obscene activity is noticed.

“Muthalik was taken into custody while he was on way to Gulbarga from Bidar (a neighbouring district in north Karnataka),” Inspector General of Police Gagan Deep said over phone from Gulbarga.

“It is a preventive detention,” he said. Muthalik’s lawyers said they will file for bail.

State home minister V.S. Acharya said in Bangalore that the preventive arrests were carried out by the government on its own and not because of any directive from the central government.

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