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A row has erupted in Udaipur after organisers of the 4th Udaipur Film Festival claimed they were denied police permission to hold the three-day event, starting Friday, at an auditorium at the Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology in Udaipur. Police, however, said the organisers had not taken prior permission from them, and the event, therefore, was shifted to another venue.
Pragnya Joshi, founder-member of Udaipur Film Society, which organised the festival, said they were denied permission after the ABVP lodged a complaint with the university Vice-Chancellor.
“The ABVP filed a complaint with the V-C after which we were asked to provide police permission to hold the festival. We had hosted the event here in 2014 but no such demand was made then. The authorities did this at the behest of ABVP leaders, so we had to relocate to Vidya Bhawan. Police told us that (Dalit research scholar) Rohith Vemula’s picture on the poster is the main reason for the order to shift the venue,” Joshi claimed.
But Udaipur SP Rajendra Goyal rejected Joshi’s claim, saying, “They did not have prior police permission to hold the event at the auditorium; so we gave them permission at Vidya Bhawan.”
When contacted, ABVP’s Mahanagar Mantri Jayesh Singh said the organisers had not informed the university officials about the kind of films and discussions that would be held at the event. “They did it very discreetly. When we told the V-C that the discussions and films will disrupt peace in the city, they realised that they should ask the organisers to shift the venue. This whole event is not good for society. The event is being organised by people who have communist ideology,” he said.