The Lucknow University administration on Tuesday directed its students not to enter the campus "at any cost" on Valentine's Day, declaring a holiday for the first time for Mahashivaratri so that "young people influenced by western culture" do not celebrate February 14.
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An official notice was issued on Monday morning, which stated that the campus will remain closed on account of Maha Shivaratri and if any student is found roaming near the campus, then disciplinary action will be taken against them. "Such a directive must be condemned. the university can not bar students from entering its campus under any circumstances", a student said. "All students are hereby informed that on 14.2.2018, the university will remain closed on the occasion of Maha Shivratri", the notice said. While most universities have yet to take action against the day, would students be willing to outlaw it if they felt their peers were offended by the celebration? It also decided not to hold any exam or extra classes on February 14. "This order curtails our freedom". Besides, boys have been warned strictly against passing remarks or luring girls with presents. "A holiday is declared on Wednesday and students have only been asked to stay away from the campus", he said. In 2016, the university had asked students not to bring gifts or flowers to college on Valentine's Day.
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But what about a seemingly harmless, non- (or at best quasi-) religious holiday like Valentine's Day? The ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said that adequate police force would be deployed on Thursday at public places to ensure no one is harassed.
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