Atul Khatri's stand-up show cancelled at last minute

Atul Khatri's stand-up comedy show in Bengaluru cancelled at last minute

Police denied that Khatri's show was cancelled due to any controversy or external pressures

Atul Khatri. Credit: Special arrangement

A show by stand-up comedian Atul Khatri could not take place in the city on Sunday evening after the police denied permission citing the "late, incomplete application" submitted by the organisers for the no-objection certificate.

'Daddy Kool', the Mumbai-based comedian's show, was to take place at the BR Ambedkar Bhavan, Vasanthnagar, from 7 pm to 10 pm. But it was cancelled hours earlier after the High Grounds police denied permission.

Citizens looking forward to the show were stunned to find a notice pasted at the venue when they got there. Many were upset that they were neither notified beforehand nor refunded.

The comedian's Instagram page announced that the show was cancelled due to "unforeseen circumstances" and promised a refund. It also promised to hold the show soon and to share details.

Many wondered whether the show was cancelled due to external pressures.

Just last month, a show by another stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was cancelled in Bengaluru at the last minute as police claimed the organisers hadn't taken permission. The cancellation came shortly after a Hindutva organisation petitioned the Bengaluru police chief, accusing Faruqui of "hurting" religious sentiments. Much like Faruqui, Khatri is also known for his irreverence.

Police, however, denied that Khatri's show was cancelled due to any controversy or external pressures.

High Grounds police inspector C B Shivaswamy said the organisers didn't provide complete information while applying for the NOC.

"We are requesting the no-objection certificate on September 25, 2022, 7 pm to 10 pm, for an event related to stand-up comedy. On the day of the event, we are expecting a floating crowd... We request you to grant us the NOC...," reads the application filed by Sunfare Media Productions Pvt Ltd on the afternoon of September 24.

Shivaswamy said the application was filed "too late". "We need at least three days to verify and process it," he told DH.

The inspector said the application didn't provide details such as who'd be speaking at the show, how many people would gather, how many tickets would be issued, etc. "We need all this information. We want to make sure there won't be any complications," he added.

The inspector also maintained that the venue owner, the Department of Social Welfare, didn't have issues with the comedy show. The venue can hold 500 people.

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