Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Indo-Pak rock show

MUMBAI: After forcing cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena compelled organisers to abandon a show by an Indo-Pak sufi rock band here last night.Eleven Shiv Sena activists, who staged a protest outside the venue, were arrested for defying police orders and later released on bail, police said today.The live concert of ‘Mekaal Hasan Band’ was to be held at the premises of C N Vidyalay in Ambawadi area. Indian singer Sharmistha Chatterjee is part of the band led by famous Pakistani guitarist Mekaal Hasan.However, before the concert could start, 11 Sena activists, led by local party leader Ashok Sharma, assembled outside the venue and started shouting slogans against the Pakistani artistes.

On learning about the protest, Ellisbridge Police Inspector N K Vyas and his staff rushed to the venue.
“Eleven persons, who claimed to be associated with Shiv Sena, shouted slogans like ‘go back Pakistani artistes’ … ‘Jai Bhawani’… And cancel this event’.”We have arrested them for violating the Police Commissioner’s order which bars people from holding such protests without getting our permission,” said Vyas.After the protest, the organisers called off the event, said Sharma who was among those arrested last night.

“Pakistan is killing Indian soldiers and promoting terrorism. They are responsible for killing many innocent civilians. Thus, we cannot tolerate their artistes coming here and singing songs on our soil. Due to our protest, organisers called off the event,” said Sharma before being taken into custody.The Sena activists, including Sharma, who were booked under IPC Section 188 (defying orders of police), were produced before a court which released them on bail this morning, said Vyas.

Last week, Shiv Sena had forced cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Mumbai and Pune.The saffron outfit, which is part of the BJP-led ruling coalitions in Maharashtra and also at the Centre, has been consistently opposing shows by Pakistani artistes on the ground that the neighbouring country sponsors terrorism in India.


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