Cops deny permission for anti-CAA event at BandraUpdated: Dec 31, 2019, 23:34 IST
A song and poetry-reading session, Jashn-e-Ekta, planned at Carter Road amphitheatre in Bandra to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) on Tuesday, was cancelled after the police, reportedly in a last-minute development denied permission for the event.
Despite repeated attempts, Mumbai Police spokesperson, deputy commissioner of police Pranay Ashok, and Gajanan Kabdule, senior inspector, Khar police, refused to comment on the issue.
The organising committee of the poetry session – social organisation Mumbai Against CAB [Citizenship Amendment Bill] – told HT that the police gave them different reasons for denial of permission on different occasions. On one occasion, the police asked them to remove every reference of CAA on the banners held during the protest.
“We sought permission from all the authorities concerned, including the residents’ welfare association and maritime board, which in principle gave us the permission, provided the police permission comes through. The police took three days to tell us that officers will be busy with the New Year’s Eve bandobast as well as some other event, and thus denied us permission for the protest,” said Fahad Ahmed, a student of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), who was planning to participate in the protest.
The organisers claim that the police raised objections over the inclusion of certain street theatre artistes in the invite list.
“We eventually approached the commissioner of police for the permission, but were informed that the police would want to scrutinise the content and line-up of the poetry session beforehand. They also expressed their concern over the inclusion of two bands— Yalgaar and Samta Kala Manch – both of which are anti-caste street theatre artist groups,” said one of the organisers, adding that the police also suggested to cut-short the event from four hours to two and produce censor board certificates to organise it.
Many participants say that the denial of permission to Yalgaar and Samta Kala Manch groups is like an attack on the Ambedkarite values and Dalit struggles.
“Yalgaar is well known for raising important questions of caste inequities and Dalit rights through its music, while Samta Kala Manch sings songs for the rights of the oppressed and marginalised sections of society. A clampdown on them is not acceptable,” added another member of the organising committee.