Poetry enthusiasts have a run-in with police

Many prevented from reaching the venue

New Year revelers who were on their way to listen to and recite verses composed by their favourite poets at a private party were in for a shock as several were stopped by police, questioned, and sent back.

The poetry reading session on theme ‘Night of Resistance – Poetry, Dark Humour, Vocals and Chai Pani’, was organised at a house in Murad Nagar. Invitations were shared on social media.

However, witnesses claimed that police prevented them from reaching the venue. “Police parked their vehicles a few houses away and began questioning us. This was intimidating,” said an invitee.

Syeda Fatima, a school principal, and her husband, too were sent back. “When I asked them what was wrong, they said that the intention of the party was unclear. I was shocked to hear that and I tried reasoning with them by saying people were drunk on the streets. But they didn’t listen,” Fatima said.

Mujataba Khan (name changed) said that he was searching for the venue but police allegedly stopped him, and confiscated his phone.

“I am from Jharkhand and work in an IT firm in Hitec City. I got the invitation on a WhatsApp group. After police stopped me, I explained all this to them. My phone was taken away, and I got it back only today. I was very worried,” he said.

While the organisers maintained that the event was a private do, a police officer from the Asif Nagar police station denied all claims and said that police presence was on account of New Year revelry.

“It was a party at a home where poetry was read and tea was served. Why would we need police permission for this,” Laeeq Ahmad Khan, a professional, and one of the organisers, said.

When contacted, West Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police A R Srinivas, alluding to the anti-CAA protests, said, “I have looked into the matter. They didn’t take permission. Such events should not be held under the guise of poetry reading.”

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 10:14:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/poetry-enthusiasts-have-a-run-in-with-police/article30453362.ece

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