Ghulam Ali presented award, Sena's bid to stage protest foiled

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Ahmedabad, April 22: Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali was on Friday, April 22 presented 'Hanumant Award', instituted by a religious trust, even as police foiled the bid by some Shiv Sena activists to stage a protest during the event at Talgajarda village in Bhavnagar district.

Ali, 75, received the award for his contribution to music from Chitrakut Dham Trust, run by spiritual preacher Morari Bapu. "Around 10 members of the saffron party were briefly detained for trying to stage protests against the Pakistani singer," said Mahuva police inspector V S Manjaria.

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"He (Ali) left soon after receiving the award in the morning. With this award ceremony, the four-day-long 'Asmita Parv' (April 19-22) ended today," said a member of the organising committee of the Trust. Interestingly, the singer was supposed to perform at the 'Asmita Parv' on its opening day on April 19, but his visit was cancelled at the last moment due to 'unavoidable circumstances'.

In the morning, a handful of Sena activists gathered outside the venue, which is around 5 kms from Mahuva, said Manjaria. "We had already made adequate security arrangements and detained all of them before they could create any trouble. The award ceremony lasted for few hours. We released these activists after Ghulam Ali left the venue."

The trust had announced awards for Ali and nine others associated with various streams of art. The trust chose Ali and five others for 'Hanumant Award', and veteran actor Dharmendra along with three other artists for 'Natraj Award' for their contribution to their respective creative fields.

Dharmendra, however, did not turn up for the function on health grounds. A concert of Ghulam Ali planned in Mumbai in October last year was cancelled after Shiv Sena threatened to stage a protest at the venue in its heartland.

The celebrated singer, who has a massive fan following in India, however, performed in Kerala and West Bengal later without facing any hassle.

PTI 

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