Amid the ongoing protests in Bengaluru against Bollywood actor Sunny Leone’s scheduled New Year’s Eve performance, the Karnataka state home minister Ramalinga Reddy has denied permission to the show.

Image from Twitter.

Sunny Leone. Image courtesy: Twitter.

According to a report by Indian Express, Reddy backed the protestors’ rationale — that Sunny Leone performing on stage would ‘hurt the culture of the state’. “I have told the police commissioner not to give permission for the Sunny Leone event. If they (the organisers) have taken permission to conduct a programme, (then) let them hold cultural activities like music, or Bharatanatyam not this (Sunny’s performance),” Express’s report quoted Reddy as saying.

On 15 December, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene, a pro-Kannada group in the state, had come out in protest of Leone’s performance during the New Year eve. They burnt posters and raised slogans against the actress and questioned the actress’ past. They even went on to say that they would commit mass suicide, if her performance proceeded as planned.

One of the protesters said bringing Leone would lead to incidents akin to 2016’s Bengaluru New Year mass molestation. “We have all seen what happened at MG Road and Brigade Road on 31 December last year. Bringing people like Sunny Leone to Bengaluru will only corrupt the minds of men and women, and lead them to behave inappropriately,” said the protestor, as quoted by Express.

A report by The New Indian Express quoted protestors cheering on the government’s decision to cancel the event. They said, “It is a victory for us. Government has cancelled the programme. Had it happened here, we would have brought activists from 20 districts to Bengaluru and held a mega protest here.”

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