09/03/2017 9:22 AM IST | Updated 09/03/2017 9:22 AM IST

Shiv Sena Activists Attack Couples With Sticks, Chase Them Away From Kochi Beach

The incident allegedly took place in the presence of the police.

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Representational image.

KOCHI -- In an act of moral policing, a group of Shiv Sena activists on Wednesday allegedly chased away young men and women who were sitting in the Marine Drive area here.

Police said five activists of the Shiv Sena have been taken into custody in connection with the incident which came in for condemnation from both the ruling CPI(M) and opposition Congress.

Malayalam TV news channels aired video footage showing a group of marching Shiv Sena activists, wielding sticks and chasing away the young men and women from Marine Drive, a tourist spot.

The incident allegedly occurred in the presence of police.

The young men and women were seen running away as they were confronted by the Shiv Sena activists.

Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain condemned the incident and asked the police to take strong action against the accused.

"It is sad that young men and women were targeted on International Women's Day. I strongly condemn it. I have asked the police to register a case against the culprits under the sections dealing with violence against women," she told .

Condemning the incident, Congress MLA PT Thomas said the issue will be raised in the state Assembly tomorrow.

"We cannot agree with this kind of moral policing. Unfortunately, police personnel were seen standing as mute spectators when the women and men were being chased away by the hooligans on International Women's Day. The culprits should be arrested immediately," he said.

CPI(M) MLA M Swaraj said such incidents of moral policing will not be tolerated in Kerala.

Swaraj, who is also a DYFI leader, said the activists of the outfit held a protest march at Marine Drive following the incident.

According to a recent report in The Indian Express, a police sub inspector was suspended and eight constables were transferred for their failure to prevent the atrocity.

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