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Feb 03, 2013 at 11:49pm IST

Protesting Muslim groups distracting attention from real issues, says Dr Amartya Sen

Kolkata: Noted economist and Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen has criticised Muslim groups for raising a hue and cry over author Salman Rushdie's proposed visit to Kolkata for the Literary Meet. Dr Sen, who is attending the Literary Meet, said, "There are a lot of people who are enormously disadvantaged. There are a lot of reasons to complain about other things. I think when Muslim groups are taking up these issues... they are distracting attention from the real issue."

Salman Rushdie was prevented from entering the city after fringe groups took to the streets protesting against him. The author was forced to cancel his programme that included a promotional event for Deepa Mehta's latest, 'Midnight's Children', which is based on a book by the author.

Even though Rushdie blamed the Mamata Banerjee government for ordering police to prevent him from coming, the police claimed that it was the organisers' decision to cancel the event. The Trinamool Congress party leaders, on the other hand, said that Mamata's decision to block Rushdie's arrival was welcome. "There is nothing shameful, I am congratulating the state government for taking the right decision," said TMC leader Sultan Ahmed.