With the police launching a major crackdown on Valentine's Day protestors in the past two days detaining over 500 people including, Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, Karnataka today saw a smooth run of V-Day celebrations.
Unfazed by threats by right wing activists, scores of supporters of V-Day went ahead to marry off dating couples as police maintained a close vigil across the state.
"The day has passed off peacefully with no untoward incident reported. We have made a number of arrests with figures going beyond 500," said ADGP (Law & Order) A R Infant.
Pubs, parks, restaurants which had faced threats from anti-V-Day brigade were provided tight security to ensure that visitors could participate in the celebrations without any interference or law and order problems.
Despite the Sene withdrawing its threat of forcibly marrying of couples found courting each other and disrupting Valentine's Day celebrations, several malls kept the celebration a low key affair. While stalls and brands within malls offered some discounts and special offers, the organisers themselves refrained from lining up too many special events.
Leading hotels here adopted a cautious approach but went ahead organising special candle light dinners and offering special programmes for the occasion.
In a strong retaliation against Muthalik and his supporters to thwart any expression of love, women supporters of the day, in a novel protest, sent a "pink consignment" containing light-pink lingerie to Muthalik at his Hubli address.
Sene kicked off its 'moral policing' campaign with an attack on women at a pub in Mangalore last month. Unfazed by nationwide condemnation, Muthalik issued threats to disrupt V-Day celebrations before withdrawing the same.
At M G Road, a commercial hub of the city, supporters today held a rally and shouted slogans against moral policing and infringement of an individual's fundamental rights. Carrying placards on love, they said moral policing and cultural policing could prove dangerous to freedom.
Wooded parks, the usual hangouts of couples, however, did not see many of its usual visitors today.
The looming threat of right wing activists also had its impact on the pubs in the city with some of them refraining from organising any special events for the day.
Some of the pubs said the turnout was a little scaled down in the afternoon with the owners expecting to pick up late evening.
"No crowd, no problems", said a pub employee candidly. While another when questioned said that they had decided to treat it like any other business day.
The pubs saw a tight security cover thrown around them in view of V-Day protestors planning to thwart any celebrations.
At college campuses, which were among the targets of the protestors, police personnel stood outside maintaining a close vigil. The women's colleges in the city were under the hawk-eyed vigil of the city police.