Sena does a U-turn, targets ’My Name Is Khan’

Write Comment     |     E-Mail To a Friend     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Print

MUMBAI: After promising to allow the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s ’My Name Is Khan’, Shiv Sena did a volte-face on Tuesday as its men went on the rampage attacking movie halls across Mumbai where advance bookings for the film had opened.


Chief minister Ashok Chavan retaliated by warning that if the Sena did not allow smooth screning of the film, he would withdraw the Z-plus security cover of Uddhav Thackeray, prompting Uddhav to say he did not want any security from the state government. The cover of six Sena MLAs -- most of whom had led the protests against Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Mumbai -- was withdrawn on Monday. 


The Sena’s U-turn followed a visit by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Sunday night, ostensibly to request him to withdraw his threat against Australian cricketers playing in the Indian Premier League. 


Thackeray -- who had been left smarting after Rahul Gandhi boarded a local train in Mumbai, and was further isolated over the confrontation with Shah Rukh -- seems to have got a boost from Pawar’s visit. Political observers were quick to point out that Pawar himself has been at the receiving end from the Congress over soaring food prices.


As Sena goons hit Mumbai streets, My Name Is Khan’s producer Karan Johar, distributors and multiplex owners asked the cops to intervene. Over 350 Shiv Sainiks were arrested across the city as a preventive measure. Sena men posing as cinegoers bought tickets to a show of ’Striker’ at Metro cinema and entered the hall and tore the screen in the evening. Earlier in the day, Shiv Sainiks barged into Huma Adlabs and tore up the screen during a show of ’3 Idiots’. They even threatened those at the booking counter, a couple who had come to book tickets at the Kanjurmarg multiplex said. The booking counter of Mehul Cinema at Mulund was ransacked, additional commissioner of police (east region) Ritesh Kumar told TOI. 


Karan Johar alongwith distributors and exhibitors of the movie met police commissioner D Sivanandhan on Tuesday asking for security at halls where the film is scheduled to be screened. "We wanted an assurance from police on protection given to the cinema halls. The police commissioner has assured us of adequate security," said Johar. 


Police, initially caught unawares by the Sena’s assurance not to disrupt the film, swung into action later in the day. After the attacks, every cinema hall in the western and eastern suburbs had mobile police vans with about 18 policemen stationed outside them. 


Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (law and order), said the distributors had given police a list of 63 cinema halls where the movie is scheduled to be screened. "We will deploy police at distributors’ offices and cinema halls and provide personal security to them if required. We have already given security cover to some distributors," said Roy. 


Roy indicated that policemen in mufti will be present in the cinema halls to tackle any untoward sitaution. "Before the audience is allowed in the cinema hall, there will be frisking," he said. Referring to the security withdrawal of some Shiv Sena leaders, Roy said, "If you have been given security and committing a crime then we have to take a view on this." 


Deputy commissioner of police (Zone VIII) K M M Prasanna held meetings with theatre owners under his jurisdiction (Bandra to Juhu) that comprised 17 screens. "We assured theatre owners of adequate police protection for viewers and the premises." Prasanna said actions against 21 people was taken in Bandra, Andheri and Juhu. "Till 8pm we have arrested 45 people for rioting, unlawful assembly and as preventive measures," said additional commissioner of police (West region) Amitabh Gupta said. 


Cinema halls, however, closed advance bookings after Tuesday’s incidents. Vishal Kapoor, COO, Fun Cinemas, who attended the meeting on Tuesday morning, said, " We have been told that there will be enough police security at the time of the relase and asked to open the advance booking of the film. We did open advance bookings on Monday but after untoward incidents we stopped it. If things get better we shall open advance bookings on Wednesday."

Comments on this Article
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, February-10-2010, 3:24
It is like people damaging their own houses. The theatres provide bread to so many of their own brothers and sisters. Low thinking by the sena men, this act will take them no where.
Write your Comments on this Article
Your Name
Native Place / Place of Residence
Your E-mail
Your Comment   You have characters left.
Security Validation
Enter the characters in the image above
Disclaimer: Kindly do not post any abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful material or SPAM. reserves the right to block/ remove without notice any content received from users.
GTI MarigoldGTI Marigold
Anil Studio
Badminton Sports AcademyBadminton Sports Academy

Now open at Al Qusais

Veez Konkani IllustratedVEEZ Konkani

Weekly e-Magazine

New State Bank of India, Customer Service Point
Cool House ConstructionCool House Construction
Uzvaad FortnightlyUzvaad Fortnightly

Call : 91 9482810148

Your ad Here
Power Care
Ryan Intl Mangaluru
Ryan International
pearl printing

Konkani Literature World