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Posted at: Jan 17, 2015, 2:20 AM; last updated: Jan 17, 2015, 2:20 AM (IST)

Protests over screening of 'MSG' in Haryana

No screening in Punjab

  • After last-minute clearance from the appellate tribunal, multiplex and cinema owners in the region have decided not to screen the controversial film ‘Messenger of God’.
  • RV Sharma, manager of a multiplex here, said, “We have been receiving threats from certain radical groups on Whatsapp. We cannot endanger the lives of our staff and visitors and also the expensive infrastructure of our theatres for a movie. We have all unanimously decided not to screen the movie. No cinema hall has scheduled the film for the week. We have consulted members of the Northern India Motion Pictures Association, who are of the same view”. --Deepkamal Kaur/TNS
Protests over screening of 'MSG' in Haryana
Members of INSO burn an effigy of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim at Dabra Chowk in Hisar on Friday. Tribune photo

Deepender Deswal
Tribune News Service
Hisar, January 16

Demanding a ban on controversial film "Messenger of God” featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in lead role, activists of various organisations held protests in Haryana on Friday.

In Hisar, student wing of the INLD burnt an effigy and shouted slogans against Ram Rahim at Dabra Chowk. Amit Bura, state vice-president of Indian National Students' Organisation (INSO), alleged the movie could incite religious sentiments of people. He alleged the “intention behind making the film was to convert the black money stacked by Ram Rahim into white”.

The district officials in Haryana and Punjab have been asked by respective state authorities to take necessary steps to maintain law and order in view of the alleged clearance to the movie.

Chandigarh administration has also decided to maintain a close vigil on the situation, he said.

In Ambala, members of Shiromani Akali Dal, Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) raised slogans against the movie in front of Galaxy Mall and said that they would not allow its screening.

The movie that was expected to hit theatres on Friday had been referred to Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) for clearance by the Censor Board on January 12.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Harpal Singh Pali, Haryana SAD spokesman Sant Singh Kandahari and INLD leader Inderjit Singh were among those who led the protest.

The Dera spokesman said the movie "is against drugs and there is nothing objectionable" in it.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Film Distributors Association (PFDA) said they will take a decision on the screening of the movie next week after the revised date of its release is announced.

Association spokesman Rajesh Talib said that the association had earlier decided not to distribute the movie which was scheduled to be released today, but got delayed as Censor Board referred the movie to the FACT.

"Since the film has been cleared by the Censor Board, the association will discuss the issue and take a decision after the new date of the release of the movie is announced by the production house," he said.

The film was scheduled to be screened by a national exhibitor chain operating screens at various malls in the country, but the spokesman of the group was not available for comments.

According to reports, Union Home Ministry has been concerned that the release of the film may evoke protests as certain Sikh organizations have been opposing the movie.

The Home Ministry had sent an advisory to states stating "various Sikh organisations and individuals are opposing the movie on the grounds that its release would disturb the communal harmony and law and order. They also opine that glorification of DSS chief facing serious criminal cases, should not be allowed".

The Home Ministry said tension between Dera Saccha Sauda followers and Sikhs remain a potential flash point in view of the ongoing rivalry between the groups.

Appeal to ban 'MSG' in Jharkhand

All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) has appealed to Jharkhand's Chief Minister Raghuvar Das to ban screening of the controversial movie 'Messenger of God' (MSG) in the state.

In a letter to the chief minister on Friday, Satnam Singh Gambhir, president of AISSF's Bihar-Jharkhand unit, called for banning of the film, featuring and produced by Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in Jharkhand, saying it would hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community. 

Nearly 60 INLD workers detained in Gurgaon

Nearly 60 workers of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) were detained in Gurgaon for protesting against the screening of controversial Hindi movie 'The Messenger of God'.

A special screening of the movie, which stars and has been co-directed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda, is scheduled to be held at Leisure Valley Park in Sector 29 here on Friday. 

With inputs from PTI


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