M A I N   N E W S

Sikhs try to storm theatre in UK

London, December 19
Hundreds of Sikh protesters tried to storm a theatre in the central English city of Birmingham, about 200 km from here, to disrupt a play which allegedly hurt their religious sentiments, the police said today.

At least five police officers were injured when they tried to prevent the angry Sikhs from storming the Birmingham Repertory Theatre where the play, ‘Behzti’ (Dishonour), depicting acts of sexual abuse and murder in a gurdwara, was going on last night.

“There were up to 400 people outside the theatre. A large number of them made a concerted effort to get into the theatre to disrupt the performance and this caused damage and disorder,” a police spokeswoman said.

Following the protest, the play was cancelled.

Two persons were arrested for public order offences and security around the theatre has been tightened.

Five persons had been arrested during the earlier protests. Three of them were released on bail pending further inquiries and one was cautioned.

“Negotiations are on among the management of the theatre, the protesters and the police,” a spokeswoman said.

The play, written by Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, explores issues of sexual abuse, manipulation and relationships inside a gurdwara.

In a statement, the Birmingham Repertory said: “The Repertory has been transparent with leaders in the Sikh community about the content and nature of the play in discussions over the past few months.

“It has agreed to provide audiences with a statement written by those community members who do not approve of the play.

“The theatre has also made efforts to ensure positive representation of Sikhism as a faith in its programme notes.

“Equally the characters in the play are not intended to be representative of the Sikh community.

“They are works of fiction characterising the fallibility of human nature and the injustice and hypocrisy that exists in the real world.” — PTI 

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |