Patiala: The much-hyped movie, Udta Punjab, which released all over on Friday, faced heat on Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s home turf as a Hindu fundamentalist organization, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Surakhsha Samiti, registered its protest against it by holding a demonstration here on Friday. Amarinder had announced to show the uncut CDs of the movie at Majitha in Amritsar district to challenge Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, alleging that Akalis were involved in drugs supply in the state and the movie was going to expose it.
Responding to it, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Surakhsha Samiti had said that it would challenge the screening of the movie, terming it anti-Punjab and Punjabis. Keeping in view the threat, the administration had geared up to meet the challenge and deployed police under DSP City-1 Harpal Singh with an aim to maintain law and order outside Omaxe Mall here, where the movie was to be screened. Workers of the Hindu fundamentalist organization headed by its senior vice-president Rajesh Kehar and state president of its rural wing Prince Chaudhary marched towards the mall and started raising slogans against the movie and its makers.
This protest demonstration started when the movie’s first show was in progress at SRS Theatre, where only 45 persons were watching it. The delegation later submitted a memorandum to the naib tehsildar present on the spot, demanding immediate stopping of the movie screening. Talking to the media after the protest demonstration, both leaders claimed that the administration had assured them that the movie screening would be stopped soon, though no specific time was given. These leaders also lashed out against the Congress and AAP and added that they were trying to take political mileage out of it.
Protests mar movie’s release in Ludhiana
Chandigarh: ‘Udta Punjab’, a drug-themed Bollywood film that was embroiled in a censorship row and multiple legal battles, was released across the country today as scheduled without any incident being reported barring protests by Shiv Sena activists in Ludhiana. Police took 30 activists of Shiv Sena (Hindustan) into preventive custody in Ludhiana after they tried to create ruckus when the movie screening was going on in a multiplex there even as tight security arrangements were put in place at various places across Punjab. They were later released.
The Police said that security at cinema halls and multiplexes, especially in prominent shopping malls at various cities including Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, was beefed up. In Ludhiana, Shiv Sena (Hindustan) leader Rajiv Tandon demanded that the film should be banned because it was defaming Punjab. The activists of the outfit tried to forcibly enter Goverdan Mall where the Abhishek Chaubey-directed film was being screened. Police, however,prevented their entry. No other untoward incident has been reported. The film starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh that delves into how a large number of youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs had also triggered a political slugfest.
The film was cleared by the courts with some directions like cutting one scene after its producers and the Censor Board were locked in a bitter row. The movie was said to have been released to favourable reviews and also received a thumbs up from the Hindi film industry with stars like Katrina Kaif, Pooja Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt praising the movie’s gritty content and outstanding acting. “I thought it was a really outstanding film. Both Shahid and Alia have done an unbelievable job. Alia’s performance is absolutely brilliant in the film. I think it is a beautiful movie,” Katrina said.PTI Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Surakhsha Samiti activists protest in front of a cinema hall during the first show of “Udta Punjab” in Patiala on Friday. PTI
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