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Kasuri’s book launched in Mumbai despite Shiv Sena’s protest

Barely hours before the launch of a book by Kasuri, the main organiser and former journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni alleged he was abused and attacked with ink by suspected Shiv Sainiks.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 12, 2015 10:16:03 pm
shiv sena protest, protest against Kasuri’s book launch, Kasuri book launch, shiv sena kasuri book launch, shiv sena kasuri, Shiv Sena attacks, Sudheendra Kulkarni shiv sena, mumbai news, india news Former foreign minister of Pakistan Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri with ORF Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni and Dileep Padgaonkar during the release of his book “Neither a Hawk nor a Dove” in Mumbai on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Unfazed by the Shiv Sena protest and blackening of the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, the organisers went ahead with the launch of former Pakistan Foreign Minister Ahmed Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk, Nor a Dove’ at a function here.

The event was held amidst tight security for the visiting dignitary in the wake of Shiv Sena’ threat to disrupt the function despite appeals to it to give up its protest.

Kasuri himself echoed the sentiments after the morning’s event outside the house of Kulkarni, Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), the think-tank and organiser of the book launch show, had left a bad taste when Shiv Sena activists smeared black paint on his face.

Watch Video- Attack On Sudheendra Kulkarni By Shiv Sena Activists: An Analysis

 

“I would like to thank Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis for providing excellent protection (provided to him) ever since I landed in Mumbai airport (last evening),” he said at the book launch.

Taking a jibe at Shiv Sena, Kulkarni welcomed the former Pakistan Minister to the megapolis of Mumbai in Marathi.

“I also express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have come to attend the function notwithstanding the extra ordinary circumstances in which it is being held.

“This shows your resolve, our resolve and common resolve, the resolve of millions of Mumbaikars to defend the values of tolerance and diversity,” Kulkarni said while making opening remarks at the event held at Nehru Centre in Mumbai.

It was attended among others by noted lawyer and historian A G Noorani, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and film actor Naseeruddin Shah, who were panelists at the launch.

Without naming Shiv Sena, Kulkarni evoked President Pranab Mukherjee’s recent remarks that “tolerance and diversity and core values of Indian civilisation and these must be defended”, he said adding “we shall defend them”.

Earlier, the Shiv Sena shot off a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in which it has pointed out the reported anti-India statements made by former Pakistan foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. The party has claimed that its opposition to Kasuri’s book launch event function continues and that it has no plans of calling of its protests.

“Many people including the Chief Minister feel that the former Pakistan foreign minister has come here as a peacenik. We have written a letter to the Chief Minister pointing out the anti India statements made by Kasuri in the past. It is upto the CM to now decide on whether he should allow the function to take place,” Shiv Sena MP, Sanjay Raut said.

Raut claimed that Kasuri was instrumental in supporting anti-India forces including Kashmiri separatist organisations such as the Hurriyat.

“We have not withdrawn our agitation. We are firm on our decision and on our stand against Pakistan. We are not doing this for any political benefit. We are a nationalist organisation and we are voicing the sentiment of a large section of this country,” Raut said. He added that rolling out the red carpet to an individual like Kasuri was a betrayal of Indian martyrs.

“He has a different language here and different one when he goes to Pakistan. He has strived to strengthen separatist. He believes by doing so the situation of Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir will strengthen,” Raut said.

He also claimed that all those who are supporting Kasuri and who have invited him are anti nationals.

“People who attack us and are seeking the dismemberment of the country cannot be given the status of a guest. Those who are doing so and inviting such people are traitors. They are the hidden Kasabs of this country,” Raut added.

Raut also launched a personal attack on Kulkarni blaming him for taking L K Advani to the Jinnah Mausoleum in Pakistan.

“This is the same Kulkarni who took Advani to the Jinnah Mausoleum for which he is still paying a price,” Raut added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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