Kolkata – Report on arrest of protestors at film festival

November 11, 2012

a report by Nilanjan Dutta

Protestors against the exclusion of ‘Chokher Pani’ from the Kolkata International Film Festival, including writer Manik Mandal, the author of the novel on which the film is based, were released without charge after spending hours at the central lock-up.

But on Sunday, police arrested two more youths named Abhinaba Sarkar and Chandan Prasad outside the festival venue. Their crime was to silently hold up a placard saying, “Release Gandu”, referring to the avant-garde Bengali film directed by ‘Q’.

The carnival is turning kafkaesque.

Report on Nov 10

Sixteen protestors were manhandled and arrested near Netaji Indoor Stadium, the inaugural venue of Kolkata International Film Festival, on 10 November. They were protesting against the exclusion of ‘Chokher Pani’, based on Manik Mandal’s novel on Nandigram, from the festival inaugurated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. It has been shown in other international festivals in Mumbai, Tiruvananthapuram and abroad. The demonstrators, including a woman, were detained overnight at the Lall Bazar central lock-up. Police said they would be produced before a magistrate the next day.

On the same day In 2007, demonstrators on the Nandigram issue were arrested in the same manner outside Nandan, where chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was inaugurating the film festival of that year.