Srinagar, March 10 (GNS): Participants at a function organised by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Srinagar on Saturday created noisy scenes and accused organizers of cheating them in attending it.
“We were told that we will be providing cricket kits but we were cheated,” a protester Javaid Ahmad, told reporters after the function that saw Sri Sri Ravi Shankar cut short his address and leave the venue— Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), Srinagar.
“We were told that Pakistani diplomat is here but there was none. We were cheated by the organisers,” said another protester.
As soon as the participants, who were ferried from many parts of Valley to the venue for “free”, raised slogans and created noisy scenes as on as they came to know about the “real” event.
Spiritual guru and Art of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he had been invited by some “well-meaning people” to speak at “Paigam-e-Mohahat” (Message of Love) function.
Sri Sri said the “well-meaning” people were working silently to redress the problems faced by the people of Kashmir and his present visit was “apolitical humanitarian initiative.”
He, however, had to cut short his speech and a subsequent press conference as many people attending the function stood up and shouted pro-freedom slogans.
The angry participants said they had been cheated by the organisers who had promised them that their bank loans would be waived at the function.
A statement issued yesterday by the AOL said his visit “likely to have a far-reaching impact on the process of peace and trust-building.”
“He has been invited by common people of Kashmir who have formed the J&K Coordination Committee. The idea behind organising this event is to find a lasting solution to the age-old Kashmir conflict,” the statement had said. (GNS)
2015 Kashmir Despatch