India Today Report

In Kolkata, Kashmir event ‘banned’ at Calcutta Club cops pressure.

The event was scrapped at the last moment by the club authorities.

The event may hurt the sentiments of a particular community: Police

An event titled “The saga of Balochistan and Kashmir” has been denied permission by the reputed Calcutta Club due to alleged pressure from the West Bengal state administration and the Kolkata Police.
The event which was scheduled for January 7 evening at the Calcutta Club was scrapped at the last moment by the club authorities citing “unavoidable circumstances” and stating that being a private social club they would like to ensure “cordial atmosphere” at the institution.
According to Swadhikar Bangla Foundation, the organisers of the event, the club authorities were pressurised by the Kolkata Police to deny permission for the event as it involves speakers who are known for their “anti-Pakistan” rhetoric.
The organisers claim that the Calcutta Club authorities were called for a meeting at Lal Bazar, the headquarters of Kolkata Police where they were told not to allow the program because it may hurt the sentiments of a particular community and result in a law and order situation.
“We were told by the club’s CEO that they were called to Lal Bazar where they met senior police officers who pressurised them to drop the event. They were told that one of the speakers at the event was famous for his anti-Pakistan rhetoric which might create law and order situation and stoke communal disharmony in the state,” claimed Colonel (retd) Diptangshu Chaudhury, founder of Swadhikar Bangla Foundation.
Speakers like Pakistani-Canadian author Dr. Tarek Fatah, Kashmir activist Sushil Pandit, retired Army officer, Major General GD Bakshi and Baloch activist Brahamdagh Bugti were supposed to take part in the event. Criticising the West Bengal government for the ban on the event, author Tarek Fatah wrote on Twitter, “Afraid of Islamists, Mamata government forces cancellation of Tarik Fatah’s talk on Balochistan.”