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US consul-general's media event disrupted

mumbai Updated: Dec 16, 2009 21:51 IST

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US Consul-General in Mumbai Paul Folmsbee was heckled and his media interaction disrupted in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon by a group of people who loudly protested the conviction and sentencing of an IIT alumnus in the US.

The protesters, under the banner of Bharat Bachao Andolan, shouted slogans against the US government for Vikram Buddhi, a former IIT alumnus, being convicted and sentenced by a US court to five years' imprisonment for allegedly posting hate messages against former president George W. Bush.

Around ten activists managed to sneak in despite restricted access, surprising even the organisers with their full-throated protest as they flung pamphlets around in the meeting hall.

Folmsbee, who was due to address the media, was taken to an adjoinng room and the protesters were ushered out by the organisers.

After about ten minutes when peace returned, a calm and composed Folmsbee came back and interacted with the media at the Press Club of Mumbai, opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was one of the targets in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Buddhi was arrested in 2006 for posting threatening messages against Bush, the then vice-president Dick Cheney and their wives, and calling for bombing of US establishments.

Found guilty by a US court, he was sentenced last week to a five-year jail term.

The protesting activists had organised a press conference at an adjoining venue, but no journalist turned up there since everyone had gathered for the Folmsbee media interaction.