WEB DESK: A group of people claiming to be Shiv Sena members stormed a Gurgaon theatre and disrupted a play featuring Pakistani performers. The ‘Shiv Seniks’ allegedly marched on stage and threw away a Pakistani flag that was being used a prop in the play called ‘Baanjh’, while shouting “Long live India, death to Pakistan”, Times of India reported.
The men also demanded to know why the organisers had invited Pakistani performers to act in the play.
Although two policemen had been assigned to provide security for the play, they were absent from the scene at the time of the incident, organisers said.
MCG Public Relations Officer SS Rohilla said, “We had given an application to Sector 29 police station and they had sent only two cops to spot but they were no nowhere to be seen when this ruckus happened. The miscreants claimed to be from Shiv Sena but we doubt that. Even then, since there were actors from Pakistan, security should have been better.”
MCG Consultant Vishav Deepak Trikha said, “These men came in and started shouting ‘Hindustan zindabad, Pakistan murdabad’.”
“The play was disrupted for about 10 minutes, but it took us hardly 1-2 minutes to quieten the protesters down. They asked us, ‘Why did you invite theatre artistes from Pakistan?’ But they were only shouting slogans and didn’t do any damage.”
‘Baanjh’ playwright Afzaal Nabi said, “We came here with a message of peace. The interruption did bother us but the play went ahead and we were appreciated by the audience. That is what matters.”
Actors in the play said people in the audience had been quick to protect the actors from the protestors.
Actor Zoya Qazi said “The support made us happy.”
Station House Officer Sector 29 police station Ashok Kumar said no written permission had been sought.
The incident occurred just days after far-right political group Shiv Sena attacked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters last week just before Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan was to meet BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to discuss a bilateral series slated for December.
Earlier in October, Shiv Sena activists attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, the organiser of former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai just hours before the event was to take place.