The Shiv Sena has threatened to disrupt the event if it proceeded as per schedule.
Confirming the cancellation of the April 25 event, the Anjaneya Sathe Group, which was due to host the event at the Amanora Park Town in Hadapsar, termed it “exceedingly unfortunate.”
The organisers claimed relentless pressure on part of the Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s coalition partner in the Maharashtra government.
The Sena, that has been most successful in preventing Indo-Pak matches in Maharashtra for the last 15 years, claimed “full credit” for scuppering the event.
“Our party’s stand on such issues is eminently clear. As long as Pakistan infiltrates terrorists in our country, we [the Sena] will not allow any Pakistani artiste to perform in our country and certainly not in Maharashtra. If the organisers have taken this risk despite this foreknowledge, it is their problem,” said Vinayak Nimhan, the Shiv Sena’s Pune unit president.
Mr. Nimhan claimed that Sena activists had even met the Deputy Commissioner of Police and requested that no permission be given to events featuring Pakistani artistes.
However, the Manoj Patil, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) said that the police had not said ‘no’ to the event.
According to local reports, Mr. Patil was quoted as saying that the police was ready to provide security provided the organizers had all papers in place. “The event organizers had applied for police permission and it was still under process,” Mr. Patil reportedly told a local paper.
Last year, the Sena had successfully managed to disrupt a performance by the Sufi rock concert band Meekal Hasan (MHB) at the Press Club in Mumbai.
However, it failed to cause nuisance at ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert in Ahmedabad and interestingly, at Mr. Aslam’s concert in the same city.
Meanwhile, the Anjaneya Sathe Group said it has refunded over 800 tickets sold for the would-be concert.