A theatre director was detained for a few hours by Mumbai Police allegedly after local residents had complained about the rehearsal of his play. The director’s associates, however, said the police had taken him to the station and accused him of putting up an “anti-government” play.
Shahid Kabir, director of the play Tafteesh of the theatre group Kabeera Foundation, was detained by police on Tuesday while he was rehearsing the play with actors in a Versova garden.
The play’s first show was scheduled on Thursday in Shakuntalam studio, Versova.
According to an actor in the play, police officials had questioned them on Tuesday during their rehearsal at the Kala Pradarshini Garden in Versova. The police had asked about the contents of the play and said it was against the government.
The police later visited the director’s house and collected his identification documents and papers relating to the play.
On Wednesday, local police asked Kabir to cancel the Thursday show. His associates said he was asked by police to avoid such plays because of the sensitive situation post Ayodhya verdict. The play is about a journalist who is detained by police on suspicion of terror activities.
Senior police inspector Parmeshwar Ganame from DN Nagar police station said, “We got a call at police control room from a citizen. Our team visited the spot and found the theatre group practicing in a garden. They did not have required permission so two of them were taken to the police station and after questioning they were allowed to go.”
The theatre group said they had been holding rehearsals in the garden for all their plays over the last five years and there had never been complaints from locals before. They said the police action against them was an attempt to curb their freedom of expression.