October 6, 2016 1:23:47 am
A day after Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam sparked a controversy by calling the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the LoC ‘fake’, various social activists boycotted a panel discussion on open spaces that he had organised on Wednesday. The event had to be cancelled.
Right to Information activist Shailesh Gandhi, Khar Residents Association’s Anandini Thakoor, RTI activist Bhaskar Prabhu and others were to participate in the event to oppose the civic body’s interim policy on managing open spaces by roping in private agencies.
Terming Nirupam’s remarks against the Indian Army as deplorable, Gandhi said, “At first I could not believe that Nirupam had made such an unfortunate, completely unacceptable comment against the nation. But after I confirmed it, I decided I could not be part of a panel discussion he had organised. Other activists too felt the same. We thus decided to boycott the event.” Gandhi added that he and the other activists would continue their opposition to the “abduction of public open spaces”.
When contacted, Nirupam told The Indian Express that the event had been postponed in the light of the controversy that had broken over his remarks. “Saving our open spaces is one of the most important issues of Mumbai and we didn’t want the controversy over my comment to cloud it. Apart from Mr. Gandhi’s decision to not attend the meeting, some political leaders had other commitments and would not have been able to attend it either. We thus decided to reschedule the event for next week,” said Nirupam.
On Tuesday, Nirupam had tweeted “Every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic).”
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