BENGALURU: Members of Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural organisation from Pune that was in the city on Friday to stage a dance-drama at a college, had to change the performance venue in the last minute following a purported threat from right wing activists.
According to members of the group, hours before they were to stage a play at St Joseph’s College auditorium on Friday evening, they were told by the college authorities to look for another venue and informed that police feared there could be attempts by right wing groups to disrupt the event. The Manch members claimed that they were even accused of being “a pro-Naxal group”.
“After we were told to look for another venue, we approached Fr Ambrose Pinto of St Aloysius College in Pulikeshi Nagar, Cox Town, who agreed to host the dance-drama. It portrays unreasonable censorship on freedom of speech and expression,” a member of the group said. “It went well. A lot of people, including the policemen, enjoyed it.”
In an email sent to media houses, the group said, “We were excited to perform despite threats. We are used to this. Nothing can stop us from singing.”
Speaking to Express on behalf of the group, Akhil Kang said, “Around 6 pm, Pulikeshinagar police came to St Aloysius College and issued a warning against staging the performance. When they were told that the performance will take place despite the warning, police claimed that the college authorities were pro-Naxal.”
City Police Commissioner M N Reddi denied the allegation. “There was no attempt to stop the group from staging the dance-drama and no one asked them to shift.”
But another senior officer said, “We were told the organisers would speak on caste discrimination and pro-Naxal issues. We looked into the recording and found nothing objectionable.”