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Protesters shout slogans against Modi at summit

Our Bureau


The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, flanked by film director, Mr Shekhar Kapur, the CII President, Mr. Anand Mahindra, the Bharti Enterprises CMD, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, the RPG Enterprises Vice-Chairman, Mr Sanjiv Goenka, at the India Economic Summit 2003 in the Capital on Mondy. -- Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Nov. 24

THE peace and tranquillity of the five-star hotel Taj Palace here was shattered this morning when a group of protestors raised slogans and argued with the Delhi Police officials in the hotel lobby after they were stopped from entering the meeting hall to protest against the decision of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to invite the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi.

The demonstrators squatted in the hotel lobby, close to the escalators leading to the conference hall, alternately arguing with the police, raising slogans and singing revolutionary songs, much to the amusement of foreign delegates invited to attend the `India Economic Summit'.

There were also minor scuffles between the protestors and the security officials, with a lot of jostling going on and each side accusing the other of acting in a high-handed manner.

The protestors included activists, Ms Nafisa Ali and Ms Safdar Hashmi. The protestors also carried placards comparing Mr Modi to Hitler and protesting against globalisation and liberalisation.

Despite the protests, Mr Modi who was scheduled to address a plenary session on `The competitiveness of the States: Sharing best practices', did not disappoint those who had gathered to listen to him.

The protestors, from a non-Governmental organisation (NGO), Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), eventually dispersed after some time.

Interestingly, the decision of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Indian sponsors of the summit, to invite Mr Modi comes after the apex chamber and the Chief Minister made up after an open spat last year.

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