Jittery govt says no Sunny party for New Year's Eve

Jittery govt says no Sunny party for New Year's Eve
Fearing adverse publicity, the government on Friday barred Bollywood actor Sunny Leone from performing at a New Year's Eve event in the city.

The decision came soon after the city police told the High Court it would maintain law and order on December 31.

Sunny Leone and DJ All OK were to perform at Manyata Tech Park from 6 pm into the new year.

Hosted by Time Creations, an ad agency based in Seshadripuram, Sunny Night was meant to entertain 4,000 to 5,000 people (couples and stags).

Home minister Ramalinga Reddy cited last year's bad press and the High Court's concerns to justify the ban.

Reporting on last year's New Year's Eve celebrations, a newspaper had gone to town with stories about mass molestation near MG Road. Police denied any such incident took place.

The organisers of the Sunny Leone event are free to convince the police the event will be peaceful, Reddy told DH.

Political concerns

Home department sources said BJP leaders were waiting to grab any opportunity to portray the ruling party in a poor light. Assembly elections are due in early 2018.

The sources cited the role played by the BJP in Uttara Kannada district, where the death of a 21-year-old boy has led to days of communal strife.

When Sunny Leone recently visited Kochi, thousands of men had gathered to catch a glimpse of the former porn star, police recalled.

"If such huge crowds gather, law and order problems could follow," said a senior officer.

Hosts in the dark

"We have no intimation the event has been cancelled. As far as we are concerned, the event is still on," said Harish M S, managing director of Time Creations.

Referring to protests against the event by a Kannada group, he said, "I am a Kannadiga, and I see no harm in inviting Sunny Leone for an event where she performs to Kannada songs played by DJ All OK," he said.

He said the activists had confused the event for a 'nanga naach' (nude dance) because of misrepresentation by TV news channels.

The event is meant for families, couples and stags, Harish said.

Earlier, about 100 members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike protested in front of Manyata Tech Park. They shouted slogans against the event and set fire to Sunny Leone photos.

Box

Who is she?

Karenjit Kaur Vohra (b 1981) goes by the stage name of Sunny Leone. Born in Canada, she worked in a German bakery and was training to be a nurse before she entered showbiz. After working as a porn star, she debuted in mainstream Indian films in 2012. She appeared in an item song in the 2015 Kannada film DK.

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