A Pune police team was pressed into action at MCCIA Trade Tower on the Senapati Bapat Road on Saturday where Israeli officials raised security issues at the venue of a talk by Matan Zamir, deputy chief of mission, Consulate General of Israel in India, Mumbai.
The programme that was to start at 6 pm was delayed by about an hour-and-half. Zamir was in Pune as chief guest for a talk on “Israel’s Fight Against Terror In Gaza and India-Israel relations” organised by the India-Israel Friendship Forum.
A police team was sent to venue. Police and the bomb detection and disposal squad conducted security checks monitored by security officials from Israel.
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Cops checked people at MCCIA Trade Tower. Office-bearers of the India-Israel Friendship Forum claimed they had informed the Pune police about the talk and the venue. When mediapersons contacted joint commissioner of police Sanjiv Kumar and additional commissioner of police Prakash Mutyal, they said they were not aware of it.
After the venue was sanitised, Zamir thanked the Pune police and addressing the function, said Israel is a peace loving nation fighting terrorists. He spoke about rockets launched on Israel from Gaza and tunnels constructed by Hamas.
“Israel has destroyed 35 such tunnels. The terrorists who come to Israel through the tunnels do acts like 26/11 terror strikes. No country would allow such acts. Israel has the right to defend itself,” he said. He said Israel has developed its system for safeguarding citizens from terror strikes. Zamir claimed most reports about killings in Gaza during attacks by Israel are manipulated.
He also spoke about the prosperity of Israel.
Key speaker Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, recently appointed National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), expressed the need for improving people to people interaction between Indians and Israelis in academics, media and arts.
“Both countries are vibrant democracies. Both are fighting against terror,” he said.
Sahasrabuddhe said that India in context of J&K and Israel in context of Gaza are abused due to perception deficit. Sahasrabuddhe also said, “Conflicts emerge in minds and hearts. The only way to end conflict is winning hearts.”
Air Marshal (retired) Bhushan Gokhale was present at the event.