A Kolkata group claimed to have been denied permission to host a seminar on refugees of Balochistan and Kashmir by the police who was “not willing” to show a green signal, apprehending that it might “create problems in the city”.
Swadhikar Bangla Foundation has organised the seminar entitled “Sufferings of people of Kashmir and Balochistan and what world needs to know” which was scheduled to take place at a renowned club in Kolkata on January 7. But permission was denied permission after reservations were raised over the mention of Kashmiri refugees and their condition during the programme.
According to the program’s organiser Colonel (Retd) Dipatanshu Chowdhury, “...the club told us to omit the name of Kashmir from the programme and not to call two speakers who are known for their voracious anti-Pakistan statements. We said it is not possible following which the club informed us that police is not willing to give us permission with Kashmir as the theme, as police is apprehending that it might create problems in the city.”
The speakers of the programme were Dr Tarek Fatah, Lt Gen (Retd) J M Mukherjee, Maj Gen (Retd) G D Bakshi, Sushil Pandit, Arif Mohammad Khan and Abhijeet Bhattacharya.
“The committee of club has officially declined to host this unique event in Kolkata. This is discretely violating the fundamental rights of citizen of Kolkata to listen, know and exchange the views on Kashmir and Balochistan, the two issues raised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We see a clear interference of Kolkata Police which has created hindrance to organise the event to raise this important national issue,” he said.
Kolkata police however denied any role in cancellation of the event.
“The club wanted permission and later informed us that they have cancelled the programme. There was no question of Kolkata police denying permission to the event”, Vinit Goel, additional commissioner of police, said.