Shiv Sena had previously called for the cancellation of Kasuri’s book launch
Top diplomat and moderator of a discussion at the launch of Khurshid Kasuri’s book in Mumbai said on Monday, that members of the Hindu right-wing Shiv Sena smeared black paint on his face to protest the book launch.
Sudheendra Kulkarni, who is scheduled to moderate a discussion at the launch of Pakistan’s former foreign minister’s book Neither a Hawk, nor a Dove, said the incident took place in his car when he was en route to his office.
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The Shiv Sena had previously warned that officials at the Nehru Planetarium, the venue of the book launch, to cancel the function, otherwise the event would be disrupted.
Despite the threats, Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, has assured ‘total security’ for the event. “For all foreigners, diplomats or foreign dignitaries who are allowed on a proper visa in our country, it’s the responsibility of our government to provide them security. Hence Mr Kasuri and the programme will be provided total security,” he said.
“But this does not mean that we endorse all his views. No anti-India propaganda will be tolerated through any such programme, and if found so (sic), the organisers would be held responsible,” he added.
Read: Shiv Sena calls for cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer’s performance in Mumbai
However, just last week, in spite of assurances from Fadnavis, a concert by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali was cancelled by the organisers following threats by the Shiv Sena.
Maharashtra’s BJP spokesperson, Madhav Bhandari, said, “The party will look into the incident and take appropriate action against those involved.”
Further, Kulkarni, in a press conference accompanied by Khurshid Kasuri, extended welcome to Kasuri and vowed that the book launch would go on as scheduled.
This article originally appeared on The Times of India