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Kashmiri Pandits’ mention disrupts lit fest

By November 13, 2017No Comments

Source : The Tribune


An afternoon session of the Chandigarh Literature Festival was disrupted at Panjab University (PU) on Sunday.

The disruption took place when a discussion on “Munnu: A boy from Kashmir” was going on between author Malik Sajad and critic Akhil Katyal.

A group of four or five people started mentioning about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. The organisers asked them not to comment and ask questions only during the question and answer session.

“They had taken seats strategically. When the session was going on, suddenly one of the persons started asking whether there was any mention of Kashmiri Pandits. When we stopped him, others stood in his favour,” said Sarika from the Adab Foundation, which is organising the literature festival along with the Department of English and Cultural Studies of the PU.

“There was commotion. We called off the session. Anyway, it was almost complete. The question and answer session couldn’t be carried out. We were to honour the author and the critic, which we did at the end of the next session,” said Mitul Dikshit, chairman of the Adab Foundation.

There was a lunch break after that. The group of people which protested in favour of Kashmiri Pandits also disbursed. “We didn’t feel the need to call the security,” he said.

He pointed out that earlier too, the same group of people had disrupted a session of author Nayantara Sehgal at the Chandigarh Literature Festival held at the Chandigarh Club two years ago.

Sarika said nothing controversial was being discussed and none of the protesters had read the book. “It was all planned,” she said.

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