Stars joins the protest over Ganguly~~s removal

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Bengal cine stars today joined the chorus of protests here over local boy Sourav Ganguly beingkept out of the national squad, as demonstrators conducted signature campaigns and tore tickets of Friday's India-SouthAfrica One day match.

Peeved at what they described as the 'shabby treatment' meted out by the selectors to the former Indian skipper, the artists said the film fraternity in the state would boycottthe November 25 match at the Eden Garden if the Bengal boy was not included in the team.

"We want everyone to protest this humiliation meted out to Sourav. As Bengalis and Indians, we think he has been severely wronged despite having the best track record as acaptain," actress Rupa Ganguly, better known as the 'Draupadi' of famour tele-serial Mahabharat, told a press meet.

Actor Biplab Chatterjee said the West Bengal Motion Picture Artists' Forum had submitted a memorandum to the chairman of selectors Kiran More, Indian captain Rahul Dravid and BCCI Joint Secretary Goutam Das Gupta condemning the manner in which Ganguly was dropped.

Meanwhile, demonstrators under the banner of Maidan Sport Welfare Association shouted slogans before the Eden Gardens protesting the selectors' decision to sack Ganguly as Test captain.

They also conducted a singature campaign, with their president Anjan Nag claiming that people from all walks of life were responding.

''We have already collected around 3,000 singatures. Players, politicians, medicos as also commoners have all come forward to join us in our protest,'' he said.

Another group of demonstrators tore tickets urging the people to boycott the ODI.

However, the Cricket Association Bengal appeared unperturbed. ''The police are aware of the goings on. If anybody tries to create mischief during the match, he will be caught red-handed by the close-circuit cameras. And the police will throw him out''.

Asked for his reaction to the protests, Das Gupta said ''I am not at all concerned about it''.

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