Sri Rama Sene disrupts India-Pakistan seminar, evicted (Lead)

April 15th, 2009 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Members of the Sri Rama Sene, the rightist group that hit the public eye with its attack on women in a Mangalore pub, tried to disrupt a seminar of Indian and Pakistani journalists here before being pushed out.
The Sene activists, who were seated as audience members at the venue at the India International Centre (IIC), shouted slogans against Pakistan.

The seminar, “Is Media Jingoism Fanning the India-Pak Problem?”, had been organised by the Foundation for Media Professionals and some Pakistani journalists were also attending it.

Owning responsibility for the act, Sene national general secretary Binay Kumar Singh told IANS: “Everything was pre-planned as we wanted to disrupt the seminar.” He said around 30 members of the group were present.

“Speakers at the seminar were making comments against India and they were relating India with the recent terror attack on a police academy in Lahore. How can one listen to it? Pakistan has become a global problem and war is the only solution,” said Singh.

The speakers included noted author Arundhati Roy; columnist Swapan Dasgupta; Nirupama Subramanian, the Hindu correspondent in Islamabad; and Amit Baruah, the Hindustan Times foreign editor.

A security official at the IIC said on condition of anonymity: “While the discussion was on, some Sene members started shouting anti-Pakistan slogans like ‘Pakistan is a global problem and war is the solution’. It spread commotion in the seminar room and the discussion was suspended for 15-20 minutes.”

Security officials along with some Indian journalists caught hold of the Sene members and pushed them out before the seminar resumed.

The fringe group hit the headlines Jan 24 when they attacked women in the southern city of Mangalore for going to pubs, saying it was against Hindu culture. Later, its members attacked Hindu women for talking to Muslim men.

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