CM blamed for cancellation of Balochistan-Kashmir event at Kolkata club

Kolkata, Jan 5 (IANS) A private club in Kolkata on Thursday cancelled a discussion scheduled to be held on Balochistan and Kashmir issue on January 7 due to “unavoidable circumstances”.

Author and political commentator Tarek Fatah, who was among the speakers at the proposed discussion titled ‘The Saga of Balochistan and Kashmir: What the world needs to know’, expressed displeasure on a social networking website and claimed Kolkata Police and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s office forced the club to cancel the event.

“@KolkataPolice on urging of CM @MamataOfficial forces @TheCalcuttaClub to shut talk on Kashmir Balochistan,” Fatah tweeted on Thursday.

Apart from Fatah, Kashmir activist Sushil Pandit, Major General G.D. Bakshi and Baloch activist Brahamdagh Bugti were supposed to participate.

Kolkata Police denied the allegation and said the cancellation was an internal decision of the club.

“The club submitted a letter day before yesterday (Tuesday) asking permission for the event but the very next day they informed the event has been cancelled. It is a decision of the club authority. They would be in a best position to say why the event got cancelled,” Vineet Kumar Goyal, Additional Commissioner of Kolkata Police (I), said.

Fatah posted a screenshot of an email sent to him by the club.

“It would not be possible to hold the said programme on the club premises. Being a private social club we would like to ensure a cordial atmosphere in the club,” Ranjit Dutta, club CEO and Secretary wrote.

When contacted, club representatives however said they have no information on the event.

“There are no events like that in the club. We have no such information,” a club employee said.