American evangelist Benny Hinn's visit to Bangalore to participate in a five-day religious programme beginning from Wednesday has been cancelled.

Disclosing this to the media on Tuesday, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Kamal Pant said the organisers of the religious convention had informed the police that Benny Hinn's visit to the city has been cancelled due to a “visa problem”.

However, the five day religious programme to be organised at Jalahalli on the outskirts of Bangalore will be held as per schedule with many speakers from across the country expected to address the gathering. “Adequate security has been provided to ensure law and order,” City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said.

The cancellation of Benny Hinn's visit to Bangalore comes amidst widespread protests against his participation by various organisations including right wing groups as well as rationalists.

The cancellation of the visit comes even after the Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the State Police “to take necessary precautionary measures for maintaining peace in the city” during the five-day event to be held from January 15 to 19.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna had issued the directions on Friday while disposing off a petition by Sri Rama Sene’s city unit questioning the Bangalore City Police’s inaction on its representation to restrain Benny Hinn from participating in the religious event as a similar congregation in 2005 had “disturbed peace” in the city.