1. Shiv Sena workers storm BCCI HQ in Mumbai, shout slogans against Pakistan Cricket Board chief

Shiv Sena workers storm BCCI HQ in Mumbai, shout slogans against Pakistan Cricket Board chief

Taking forward its campaign against Pakistani personalities, Shiv Sena workers today stormed the Indian Cricket Board headquarters in protest against planned talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan here for resumption of bilateral cricketing ties.

By: | Mumbai | Updated: October 19, 2015 5:32 PM

Taking forward its campaign against Pakistani personalities, Shiv Sena workers today stormed the Indian Cricket Board headquarters in protest against planned talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan here for resumption of bilateral cricketing ties.

The noisy protests by over a hundred slogan shouting members at the Board office during which BCCI President Shashank Manohar was gheraoed forced the cancellation of the much-anticipated talks today between him and Khan.

The talks on the proposed bilateral series have now been rescheduled to be held in Delhi tomorrow.

“The talks have not been called off. Mr Manohar and Mr Khan will speak to each other in evening today and tomorrow they are coming to Delhi for another round of talks,” IPL Chairman and senior Board functionary Rajiv SDhukla told PTI.

The protesting Sena workers were later taken into custody by the police.

Shouting slogans against Pakistan and the PCB chairman, the Sena workers surrounded Manohar, asking him not to have any ties with the neighbouring country, which they said sponsors terrorism.

Waving black and saffron flags, the workers sought to know from Manohar if he would go ahead with his meeting with the PCB chief here.

Sena Vibhag Pramukh Pandurang Sakpal told reporters that his party is firm that there should be no cricket matches between the two countries.

Asked about Sena being a part of the Maharashtra government, Sakpal said, “The government will do its job, we will do ours.”

“What we did today is Sena’s stance,” he said.

Manohar had invited Khan for talks on the much-anticipated cricket series scheduled in December.

Khan and PCB’s executive committee head Najam Sethi are in the city for the meeting after discussing the planned series with BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur earlier on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Dubai.

Thakur had assured him that a final decision could be taken later this month and conveyed Manohar’s invitation to visit India.

There is speculation that the two neighbours could play either a bilateral series in the UAE or agree to a possible triangular series in December also involving Bangladesh.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Congress leader Manish Tewari condemned the incident.

Tiwari described the incident as “abominable” and said law and order had completely broken down in Maharashtra.

He said Mumbai had been reduced to “mobocracy”, citing a spate of recent incidents, including the cancellation of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s show due to Sena’s protests.

“It is extremely unfortunate… This is extremely abominable. Law and order has completely broken down in Maharashtra. The President of India should take cognizance of this,” he said.

In the recent days, Sena activists had blackened the face of former BJP strategist Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, over his refusal to cancel the book launch function of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, prompting strong condemnation from political parties.

The Shiv Sena also forced the organisers to cancel the Mumbai concert of renowned Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.

Meanwhile, justifying the protest by party workers, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “We have not committed any crime by protesting. We are opposing Pakistan and our stand against them is nothing new. This is not a political protest. We are only doing what is the feeling of the people of this country, because feelings of people are important to us.”

“The people of the nation do not want any relations with Pakistan till they stop terrorist activities and hatching conspiracies against India. There will be no cricket, cultural and political relations with them until they stop doing it,” Raut said.

The Rajya Sabha MP asserted that the Sena will not compromise on its stand and asked ally BJP to support it on the issue.

“If anyone tries to build relations with Pakistan through the medium of cricket, we will not let that happen and will not compromise on our stand. The BJP now needs to come forward and support us on this issue,” Raut said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai’s Additional Commissioner of Police Pratap Dighavkar told reporters outside the BCCI office here that “adequate security has been provided (at BCCI office)…I have to see law and order.”

Pol parties condemn Sena’s protest at BCCI HQ, Sena justifies

The storming of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai by protesting Shiv Sena workers over the issue of resumption of cricket ties with Pakistan today sparked condemnation with ally BJP saying there is no place for “hooliganism” while Congress called it “abominable”.

An unfazed Shiv Sena, however, justified the protest that came close on the heels of Ghulam Ali and Sudheendra Kulkarni episodes, claiming they were only reflecting the feelings of the people of this country as they were opposed to any relations with Pakistan till they stop terrorist activities.

“We are a democratic nation and every one has the right to protest on any issue in a democratic manner. But there is a difference between a democratic way and hooliganism. No one accepts such kind of protest,” Naqvi said.

Congress leader Manish Tewari described the incident as “abominable” and said law and order had completely “broken down” in Maharashtra, and Mumbai has been reduced to a “mobocracy”, citing a spate of recent incidents, including the cancellation of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s show due to Sena’s protests.

“It is extremely unfortunate… This is extremely abominable. Law and order has completely broken down in Maharashtra. The President of India should take cognisance of this,” he said.

NCP leader Rahul Narvekar said Sena has been involved in such activities since very long.

“This is not how you express your resentment to a particular thought. You adopt constitutional measures which are available with you,” he said.

Questioning Shiv Sena, the NCP leader said, “When you are a part of an alliance, is it justified? You have to uphold the Constitution. What are you doing…If we talk about the recent examples, they were unconstitutional.”

Justifying the protest by party workers, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “We have not committed any crime by protesting. We are opposing Pakistan and our stand against them is nothing new. This is not a political protest. We are only doing what is the feeling of the people of this country, because feelings of people are important to us.”

“The people of the nation do not want any relations with Pakistan till they stop terrorist activities and hatching conspiracies against India. There will be no cricket, cultural and political relations with them until they stop doing it,” Raut said.

The Rajya Sabha MP asserted that the Sena will not compromise on its stand and asked ally BJP to support it on the issue.

“If anyone tries to build relations with Pakistan through the medium of cricket, we will not let that happen and will not compromise on our stand. The BJP now needs to come forward and support us on this issue,” Raut said.

Echoing Raut’s views, Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena said, “it is absolutely correct to protest. What is wrong in it. In a democracy, they have a right to demonstrate against these people.”

BJP’s Maharashtra unit spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said everyone is free to protest in a free and democratic country like India.

“Everyone can express his views and every body has a right to protest. They were shouting slogans in a democratic way…It is a democratic way of protest,” Bhandari said.

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