Shiv Sena activists barged into a media gathering of Indian and Pakistani musicians here Tuesday shouting slogans to protest against the Pakistanis.
A large number of Sena members entered the Press Club carrying party flags shortly after a programme to launch the first India-Pakistan band started.
They raised slogans against Pakistan, the Pakistani artistes and waved banners with “Pakistan Murdabad” inscribed on them even as policemen tried to control them.
Two Pakistanis – guitarist Mekaal Hasan and flautist Muhammad Ahsan Papu – and three Indians – drummer Gino Banks, bass player Sheldon D’Silva and vocalist Sharmishtha Chatterjee – were present at the media briefing.
The stunned Pakistanis, members of the Mekaal Hasan Band, as well as the organisers were pushed into a corner. But no one was injured and there was no damage to property, a Press Club official said.
Police rounded up several Shiv Sainiks and detained them.
Justifying their action, Shiv Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar said it was the party’s policy not to allow any Pakistani artiste to perform in Mumbai.
“They behead our soldiers on the border, indulge in terror activities and then come here to make money. We shall not tolerate this,” he said.
Gurbir Singh, president of the Press Club Mumbai, said he has spoken to Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil and police officers seeking additional forces at the venue.
“This is the first initiative of its kind and aims to create a positive interaction between musicians of India and Pakistan, create a relationship of mutual benefit, trust and thereby strengthen peaceful ties between the two countries,” said organiser Jatin Desai.