Activists from BJP and Bajrang Dal disrupted a lecture by social activist Dr Vishambhar Choudhari in Nashik, Maharashtra, claiming criticism of their revered figures.
A lecture by social activist Dr Vishambhar Choudhari in Maharashtra's Nashik district was disrupted after activists from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bajrang Dal caused chaos at the venue, claiming criticism of their revered figures, stated a report in PTI.
The incident occurred during the golden jubilee celebrations at Sinnar's public library, where Dr Choudhari began his talk titled "Nirbhay Bano (Be Brave, Fearless)" on Sunday evening.
While Dr Choudhari was speaking, 10 to 15 BJP and Bajrang Dal activists barged into the venue, causing a commotion. Dr. Choudhari's microphone was seized by BJP Sinnar in-charge Jayant Awhad, while other activists shouted slogans and approached the stage.
The lecture was cancelled after police were called to the scene following the disturbance. However, because no formal complaint was filed, no case was opened, according to a police official.
Sinnar Public Library President Krishnaji Bhagat condemned the interruption, expressing disappointment that the thoughts shared during the talk could not be heard, the first such incident in the 50-year history of their lecture series.
"The disruption of the lecture appeared to be planned. We condemn it. It seems like we are moving towards dictatorship. The lecture was unfortunately interrupted, and thoughts expressed during the talk were not heard. Such an incident has occurred for the first time in the 50 years that the lecture series was organised," said Krishnaji Bhagat was quoted as saying in the PTI report.
BJP member Jayant Awhad defended the disruption, claiming that criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lord Ram during the lecture was intolerable, prompting him to seize the microphone and stop the lecture. Speaking to the media, Awhad said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lord Ram were criticised during the lecture. How can we tolerate criticism of our idols? Hence, I snatched the mike and stopped the lecture."
In a similar display of hooliganism, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists blackened and vandalised the English signage of establishments. Reportedly, the MNS activists were blackening signages of those establishments that had not displayed their names in Marathi. The group who vandalised signboards in the College Road area warned the shop owners to put up Marathi signboards in two days.