Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Artists targeted over Mumbai row

By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Mumbai

Raj Thackeray
Mr Thackeray says that India can do without Pakistani comedians

A regional Hindu extremist party in western India has asked filmmakers in Mumbai (Bombay) not to invite or entertain Pakistani artists.

The warning comes two days after a Pakistani comedian left India following the party's protests.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, or MNS, says its action are directed against what it calls Pakistan's involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

More than 170 people were killed in November's attacks.

The Pakistani artist who left India is the comedian Shakil Siddiqui.

He was filming for a TV show in Mumbai on Wednesday when about 30 MNS party activists asked him to leave.

Mr Siddiqui has since returned to his country.

Now the MNS chief, Raj Thackeray, has appealed to all directors and producers in the city to ban shows and music albums of Pakistani artists in protest against what he calls Pakistan's involvement in the terror attacks.

The party also says India has enough artists of its own and does not need people coming from Pakistan to perform.

Hindu extremist parties in Mumbai have often expressed hostility towards artists from across the border.

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