The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Calcutta, permission denied

Ahmedabad, March 4: Qutubuddin Ansari is particularly angry with a Calcutta-based Urdu newspaper, Akhbar-e-Mashriq, which approached him twice for a fund-raiser.

“I got nothing from them but they collected huge funds using my pain,” he said.

Mansoor Ahmed, the organiser of the fund-raiser for Ansari, however, denies the charge. “Shivaji Ghosh, deputy commissioner, headquarters, cancelled the show after he learnt Ansari would be present,” Ahmed said in Calcutta.

“Ghosh was unmoved even when I told him there would be no problem as people such as Sunil Dutt, Javed Akhtar and Kuldip Nayar had agreed to share the dais with Ansari,” he said. “No funds were collected and I can’t be blamed for anything.”

Ghosh, now joint commissioner, Armed Police, said: “I never cancelled the show. However, it is true that I kept on deferring giving permission to the organisers because of the presence of Ansari at the show. With him present, the entire event would have taken a communal shape which we wanted to avoid in the city. But in the end, the organisers did not come back to me and cancelled the show on their own.”

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