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Rajnikant’s cut-outs awash in milk, and pujas
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, June 15
Tamil superstar Rajnikant starrer ‘Sivaji-The Boss’ was released without any untoward incident in Karnataka even as Kannadiga activists held peaceful protests outside theatres screening the film in Bangalore. The police intervened to arrest 50 activists who were trying to prevent the screening of the movie in Bellary.

Celebrations by fans, however, clearly overshadowed the protests with fans indulging in the ritualistic pouring of milk on coconuts and decorating theatres screening the movie with mango leaves. Vehiclular traffic was disrupted near all the theatres screening the movie. Rajni fans, including those who could not get the tickets for the opening show today, gathered in front of theatres screening the movie to perform ‘puja’ in front of the superstar’s cutouts.

In the IT capital here the city police did not take any chances and went in for elaborate frisking of all cinemagoers at all 10 theatres as well as three multiplexes where the film is being screened. This was done to ward off threats issued by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike which had announced that its activists would disrupt the screening of the movie. Additional Commissioner of Police Bipin Gopalakrishna said the city police would maintain a close watch on the situation in the wake of the threats in the coming days also.

The Vedike had claimed that the State Film Chamber had gone out of its way to allow screening of Sivaji despite a clear cut agreement that all non-Tamil movies would be released in Karnataka seven weeks after their formal release. It had also tried to join the screening of the movie with the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award by referring to Rajnikanth’s position on the issue despite the fact that he had been brought up in Bangalore.

The Karnataka Film Chamber on its part has claimed today that it had not violated any norm as far as screening of non-Kannadiga movies was concerned. The chamber said in a statement here that out of 1,200 theatres in the state, ‘Sivaji’ was being shown only in 17 theatres, including three multiplexes. It also claimed ‘Sivaji’ would not affect the Kannada film industry in any way.

All cinema halls screening the movie have gone in for advance booking which has already crossed the two-week figure. Theatre managements were forced to open bookings at 9 am today morning due to huge crowd that had queued up for advance bookings. Tamilians came out in droves to book tickets at all theatres screening the movie and the city police had to put up extra security to prevent any untoward incident.

Film Chamber sources said today’s collections itself from the city would be around Rs 31 lakh. Black marketeers are doing a roaring business in Bangalore and elsewhere. Gold Class ticket of Rs 250 in a multiplex theatre is being sold for Rs 2,000. In the cinema houses tickets are being sold in the black market for between Rs 400 to Rs 1,000.

Meanwhile, according to a PTI report from Hyderabad the film hit screens across Andhra Pradesh today generating massive enthusiasm among his numerous fans.

The Telugu version of the movie was simultaneously released in 350 theatres in the state, including 40 in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. So intense was the pre-release hype that tickets for the action thriller, directed by Shankar, have been sold out for the next 15 days.

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