Pathaan: Hindu activists storm theatres in K'taka dist to stall screening; morning shows canceled in Indore

The Hindu activists stormed Swaroopa and Narthaki theaters and tore the posters of the movie

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NH Digital

As many as 30 Hindu activists were booked for indulging in violence and attempting to stall the screening of Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Pathaan' in theatres in Belagavi in Karnataka on Wednesday.

The Hindu activists stormed Swaroopa and Narthaki theaters and tore the posters of the movie. They condemned the release of the movie despite the boycott call and tore down banners. Security has been tightened in the surrounding areas of the theatres.

Khadebazar police in Belagavi has registered a case against 30 Hindu activists and detained a few others.

The police department has also deployed a platoon of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) near theatres. Belagavi South constituency BJP MLA Abhay Patil condemned the release of the movie and urged to stop its exhibition.

"They should understand the feelings of the people and stop the screening of the film. The release of such movies will spoil the atmosphere in the society. The protest has begun today. Women are opposing the release of the movie, the distributor must stop shows," he said.

'Pathaan' has been released across that state and is being screened without any trouble in other regions, including the capital Bengaluru.

Morning shows of the movie were cancelled at some theatres in Madhya Pradesh's Indore city on Wednesday following protests by right-wing organisations.

The film has been opposed by some segments who claim its song called "Besharam Rang" hurts the sentiments of Hindus.

On Wednesday, activists of the Hindu Jagran Manch showed saffron flags at Sapna-Sangeeta cinema hall in Indore in protest against the movie and recited Hanuman Chalisa, eyewitnesses said, adding that some of them also had sticks.

Some of the protesters entered the theatre and asked the audience to move out.

The protesters said they would not allow the movie to be screened in the cinema hall.

Besides, Bajrang Dal activists also staged a protest against "Pathaan" at Kastur cinema hall in the city and shouted slogans against Shah Rukh Khan.

Police security was deployed at both the theatres in view of the protests by right-wing organisations.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Dishesh Agrawal said, "Activists of the Hindu Jagran Manch and Bajrang Dal have been protesting against the film 'Pathaan'. Hence, some of its morning shows were cancelled."

Asked about further shows of the movie, he said an appropriate decision will be taken considering the law and order situation.

"Pathaan" has been battling controversy and calls for a ban over its song "Besharam Rang" also featuring Deepika Padukone. A sequence in the song showing Padukone in a saffron bikini led to protests across India for allegedly hurting "Hindu sentiments."

The Central Board of Film Certification had directed the makers of "Pathaan" to implement "changes" in the movie, including its songs, in accordance with board guidelines, CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi said last month.

The CBFC had asked production banner Yash Raj Films to submit the revised version of the spy action thriller before its release, Joshi said.

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