The Indo-Pak Fashion Street Lifestyle and Wedding exhibition at Hotel Maharaja Regency in Ludhiana was put on hold on Sunday after police cited that the organisers did not have the requisite permissions for the event. The organisers, however, claim they were being harassed in the name of Independence Day security arrangements.
Sources said that nine Pakistan nationals were part of the exhibition and had put five stalls at the venue.
Pankaj Jain, owner of Trends Exhibitors and the main organiser, said, “We had all permissions required for the exhibition. We had applied for it in police commissioner office which was marked to fire office and excise department. We were called by police on August 9 to record our statement and the assistant sub-inspector even gave us in writing that if we had a No Objection Certificate (NOC), then they would have no objection to the exhibition. We are simply being harassed due to I-Day security threat inputs. Even dog squad inspected the venue yesterday and all Pakistan nationals have proper visa and passport.”
The police, however, maintained that the organisers did not have the requisite permission.
“Their application for NOC is pending with police and they were not given permission yet,” said Dhruman Nimable, DCP Ludhiana. “We also got to know that the organiser did not have permission from the excise department. There is no specific threat input for Ludhiana but overall we are alert. When we realised that a delegation from Pakistan is also a part of the exhibition, we asked the organisers to wrap up. Legal opinion is being sought on registration of FIR as rules have been
Sources from inside the police force, however, told The Indian Express that the stringent I-Day security measures and intelligence inputs played a role in stopping the event.
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The organiser, meanwhile, said that the police did not agree to let other traders to showcase their wares in the exhibition. “We asked police to let other 35 participants from India continue but they did not agree. We have suffered huge financial loss and the Pakistan nationals, who were our guests, are also being harassed. They will be going back now.”