Goa Theatre Artist Stages Drama Amid Sene Threats

One of the leading theatre artists of Goa presented his play today amid tight police security, after initially cancelling it following threats of disruption by Sri Ram Sene (SRS).

Goa's noted theatre director Tousif de Navelim who was scheduled to stage Konkani drama Akantvadi Goeant Nakat (Don't want terrorists in Goa) was asked not to go ahead with the performance by Sri Ram Sene outfit leaders, who had claimed that the drama was aiming to defame Sene Chief Pramod Muthalik.

Tousif, yesterday said that they would stage the drama at Gomant Vidya Niketan Margao, 35 kms away from here, as per the schedule, however, withdrew it this morning, saying that it might create law and order problem in the city.

"No entertainment can be entertainment with fear and anxiety in the mind of audience," the director said this morning announcing to cancel the drama.

However, a huge crowd had gathered at Margao Police station later in the day and insisted that the play should be staged, notwithstanding the threat.

Meanwhile, Sri Ram Sene Karnataka state organising secretary Gangadhar Kulkarni, addressing a press conference in Margao yesterday, had said that the drama was aimed at projecting Muthalik in a bad light.

"When Muthalik is fighting back terrorists in the state like Karnataka, terming him as the one, is unfortunate," he had said.

As per the earlier schedule to stage the drama today, the director released an advertisement in newspaper, appealing to people to watch it and said the public need not worry as police protection has been granted for the show.

Meanwhile, both NCP and Congress sympathised with the director stating that the incident is indication that Goa has been "Talibanised".

NCP Goa spokesman Trojano D'Melo today told reporters that the director was ready to sacrifice his talent for the sake of peace.

Goa Congress spokesman Durgadas Kamat said that freedom of expression in the state should not be hampered.

"We feel that the state is slowly progressing towards the Talibanisation way due to the fascists forces mushrooming up suddenly since BJP govt has come to power at the Centre," he said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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