Shiv Sena protest against Pakistani band at Mumbai Press Club

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Mumbai-Press-ClubA group of 50 workers from political party Shiv Sena barged into a press conference being held by Pakistani band Mekaal Hasan at the Press Club near Azad Maidan, demanding that the musicians return immediately to their country.

The band, which plays Sufi rock, was scheduled to announce a joint concert with Indian performers at the city’s Press Club.

The Shiv Sena workers were carrying placards and saffron flags; they moved with relative ease past the policemen posted outside, a standard precaution in Mumbai where the Sena regularly disrupts or protests against the presence of Pakistani artists.

“The police did not do very much. They stood around like bystanders,” alleged Gurbir Singh, an official with the Press Club.

Mr. Singh said that the Sena had warned yesterday in its mouthpiece “Saamna” that the press conference should be cancelled.

A police station is right across the road from the Press Club; senior police sources claimed reinforcements were rushed in to handle the Sainiks, some of whom have been arrested.
There were no reports of vandalism, however.

The Shiv Sainiks have always made their views on Pakistan loud and clear. Last year, they had raised objections to hiring Pakistani artists to perform in India.