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NGO activists demonstrate at Kolkata book fair over 'denial' of entry to street children

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NewsDrum Desk
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Kolkata, Jan 29 (PTI) Around 40 people of an NGO demonstrated at the venue of the International Kolkata Book Fair here on Monday evening, alleging that they were not allowed to carry on “social activities” involving street children by the police.

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A Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate official said some people assembled before the Little Magazine pavilion at the book fair ground, and shouted slogans against the police and event authorities around 7 pm, which triggered tension among visitors.

Police whisked away around 20 agitators and briefly kept them at its control room before releasing the NGO members, he said.

The members of 'Amar Pathshala' claimed they had brought several street children to the fair ground on January 28 for a programme, but police did not allow the children to enter “for no reason”.

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"If the book fair belongs to everyone, why such discriminatory attitude towards children?” a spokesperson of the organisation said.

Publishers and Booksellers' Guild president Tridib Chatterjee said a demonstration by some people took place at one corner of the fair.

“The book fair is a platform for bibliophiles, for children, for people of all sections,” he said.

Some youths had recently demonstrated at the fair ground, opposing the developments in Gaza and against the Ram Temple consecration at Ayodhya, but they were dispersed by the police, officials said.

"We don't want the fair to turn into a place of slogan shouting or politics," Chatterjee added. PTI SUS RBT

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