A DAY after theatre group Kabeera Foundation alleged that it was asked to cancel its play Tafteesh in light of the Ayodhya verdict, the group staged its first show in Versova’s Shakuntalam studio on Thursday evening after receiving the police nod.
Tafteesh narrates the story of a journalist who has been detained by the police on suspicion of being a terrorist.
According to director Shahid Kabeer, two police officers had asked him and his colleague to accompany them to the DN Nagar police station Tuesday while the group was practising at Kala Prad-arshini Park. Later, Kabeer said the police visited his house to collect his identification documents and details of the script, written by Rajesh Kumar. A day later, he was allegedly told to cancel the play. “They said such a play would be sensitive since Ayodhya judgment has just come out,” he had said.
But Additional Commissioner of Police Manoj Sharma said: “I neither called anyone to my office nor did anyone come to meet me. On Tuesday, after local residents complained to the control room about noise coming from a garden, our team had gone to the spot to check. We never asked them to cancel the show.”
Due to paucity of funds, the group, which encourages budding actors, have been practising at the park for the last five years. The group claimed nobody has ever had a complain about them.
“Today, we were called to the additional CP’s office and asked to submit documents related to the play. At 1 pm, the police gave us permission to stage the play,” an artiste said. In August, theatre group Qissa Kothi had alleged similar harassment by the police while they were in Pune to perform a play.