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Posted at: Nov 11, 2017, 11:40 AM; last updated: Nov 11, 2017, 9:33 PM (IST)

Lucknow litfest cancelled after BJP student wing protests against Kanhaiya

Lucknow litfest cancelled after BJP student wing protests against Kanhaiya
Kanhaiya Kumar. —PTI/file

Shahira Naim

Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 11

After right wing students attempted to manhandle former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, the Lucknow district administration has withdrawn permission for the Lucknow Literary Fest.

Members of the AVBP and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha had collected at the venue Sheroes Cafe, run by acid attack survivors, in large numbers.

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As soon as Kumar arrived for his session late in the evening, they disrupted the function shouting slogans describing Kumar as “anti-national” demanding him to go back.

Kumar had been invited to the festival to speak on his book ‘From Bihar to Tihar’.

The right-wing students not only raised slogans but even attempted to manhandle Kumar saying that they would not let him speak at any cost.

After that, some students of Lucknow University who had come to hear the former JNUSU president came in his support.

It became a scuffle between the ABVP and Lucknow University students forcing the acid attack survivors running the cafe to appear on stage with folded hands requesting all to maintain peace.

These women and some student supporters protected Kumar by physically encircling him and taking him to the stage.

The police force arrived after half-an-hour who managed to control the unruly right wing elements and the programme continued.

Speaking after this, Kumar said he would have been happy if those who did not agree with his political views would have engaged him in a dialogue, which is the sign of a healthy democracy.

Defending himself he said that he was not an anti-national but belonged to a family of freedom fighters.

In a late night order, Lucknow District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma cancelled the permission for the festival on the ground that the programme shared with the administration did not included the presence of personalities like Kanhaiya, Shatrughan Sinha, Varun Gandhi and Asaduddin Owaisi.

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