M A I N   N E W S

Shiv Sena stirs more trouble over Khan
Over 1,600 Sainiks arrested n Sena MPs return security cover
n Bookings reopen for SRK film after govt beefs up security
Tribune News Service & PTI

Mumbai, February 10
Over 1,600 Shiv Sena activists were today arrested ahead of the release of Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘My Name ks Khan’ (MNIK) as the Maharashtra government beefed up security enabling theatre owners to re-open advance bookings.

Some of cinema halls in the city had suspended advance bookings after Sena activists targeted them. But they decided to restart bookings after the Maharashtra government increased security and issued fresh guidelines.

“So far, 1,600 have been arrested approximately...Many of them have been remanded to judicial custody up to February 12 and some to police custody up to February 15,” Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy told reporters here.

The Sena activists, including office-bearers, were charged with rioting, damaging property, unlawful assembly and trespassing, police said. The police also picked up some from near Broadway cinema at suburban Borivali.

Meanwhile, the Members of Parliament belonging to the Shiv Sena returned the security cover provided to them by the state. Sanjay Raut, Rajya Sabha member and editor of party mouthpiece Saamna, said here today that all MPs of the Shiv Sena were returning their security as a mark of protest.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had on Tuesday warned that the state government would withdraw the security provided to party leader Uddhav Thackeray if Shiv Sena workers persisted in attacking theatres screening Shah Rukh Khan-starrer MNIK. Uddhav and his father Bal Thackeray enjoy Z-plus category security and more than 100 police personnel are posted outside their homes and offices.

However, the Maharashtra government has clarified that policemen posted at the residence of the Thackerays as well as the MPs haven’t been relieved as yet. Security for the party’s MLAs in Maharashtra was withdrawn on Tuesday after the party workers resumed their attacks on theatres.

The Sena is demanding that Khan must apologise for supporting inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in the upcoming IPL but the actor has refused to do so, saying his comments were not anti-national and there is nothing to retract.

Under the new guidelines to the theatre owners, the first three rows will be kept empty to prevent miscreants from damaging the screens.

The police will be deployed in sizable numbers in the 63 theatres across the city that would screen the movie to ensure a smooth release on Friday. Security personnel at cinema halls have been told to frisk every ticket-holder and check their bags as they enter the cinema.



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