Right-wing groups stage stir over Pathaan release in state

Published on Jan 26, 2023 12:20 AM IST

In Kalaburagi, Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV), with other pro-Hindu groups, attempted to storm the theatres and pelted stones. The right-wing groups staged a protest in front of the Shetty’s Multiplex and demanded to stop the screening of Pathaan. At least 30 people who attempted to stall the movie were taken into custody, according to officials.

Members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) during a protest against the release of Shah Rukh Khan's film 'Pathaan', in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) during a protest against the release of Shah Rukh Khan's film 'Pathaan', in Bengaluru. (PTI)
By, Bengaluru

Members of the right-wing groups protested against the release of Shahrukh Khan-starrer ‘Pathaan’ in Kalaburagi, Bengaluru and Belagavi on Wednesday, with incidents of stone-pelting and violence reported in some areas.

In Kalaburagi, Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV), with other pro-Hindu groups, attempted to storm the theatres and pelted stones. The right-wing groups staged a protest in front of the Shetty’s Multiplex and demanded to stop the screening. At least 30 people who attempted to stall the movie were taken into custody, according to officials.

“The movie is insulting to the Hindu religion. By wearing saffron clothes and calling the song, ‘besharam rang’, the jihadis from Bollywood are hurting our sentiments. We had submitted a memorandum to all theatres not to screen the movie, by they have still gone ahead with the showcase. We strongly condemn this. That is why the HJV is protesting across Kalaburagi along with all Hindu groups,” an HJV member said.

In Bengaluru, protests were held by members of a right-wing outfit in front of Veeresh Cinemas. Vishwa Hindu Parishad supporters burnt posters of the film and raised ‘boycott Pathaan slogans.

Meanwhile, in Belagavi, as many as 30 pro-Hindu workers were detained by the police for indulging in violence and attempting to stall the screening. The incident took place in Khade Bazar Police Station Limits. The right-wing group members stormed Swaroopa and Narthaki theatres and tore the movie posters, condemning its release.

During the protest, a leader of the right-wing group suffered minor injuries while trying to jump the gates of the theatre. The police department has also deployed a platoon of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) near theatres.

Belagavi South constituency Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Abhay Patil condemned the movie’s release. He said, “They should understand the feelings of the people and stop the screening of the film. Releasing such movies will spoil the atmosphere in society. The protest has begun today. Women are opposing the release of the movie; the distributor must stop the shows.”

In Hubballi, security was beefed around Urban Oasis Mall near Gokul Road after a right-wing outfit called for the boycott of the screening of the movie, according to officials. Meanwhile, in other districts across the state, the movie was released and is being screened without any trouble.

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