Shiv Sena protests at BCCI office, opposes talks with Pakistan

Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) A group of Shiv Sena activists on Monday protested at Indian cricket board president Shashank Manohar’s office here against his move to hold talks with Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan to resume cricket ties between the two countries.

The Shiv Sainiks, numbering over 70, carried a black flag and shouted slogans of “Pakistan murdabad”, “Shashank Manohar murdabad” and “Shahryar Khan Go Back”.

Later, police detained more than two dozen activists and whisked them away, even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president quietly watched from his office.

A protester said the Shiv Sena would not allow any cricketing relations between the two countries until Pakistan stopped the killing of Indian soldiers and civilians at the border.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who is the executive editor of the Sena mouthpiece Saamana, said that it was not a gherao but a meeting with Manohar to urge him to cancel the negotiations with his Pakistani counterpart.

This is the second major protest within a fortnight by the Shiv Sena against Pakistan.

It started around 10 days ago when Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s scheduled concerts in Mumbai and Pune were forced to be cancelled following Sena’s strong opposition.

Last Monday, Sena activists blackened the face of veteran journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni in an attempt to force him to cancel a book launch function of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

The move attracted condemnation, but following intervention by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the book release function passed off peacefully.

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