AHMEDABAD/BHOPAL/MUMBAI: Wielding batons and iron rods, nearly two dozen Bajrang Dal activists on Monday vandalised theatres screening Aamir Khan blockbuster ‘PK’ here for making “fun” of Hindu Gods and godmen as protests were also reported from Bhopal.
Angry at the theatre owners ignoring the ‘diktat’ not to screen the movie that has raised the hackles of a plethora of Hindu organisations, volunteers of the outfit descended on City Gold Multiplex and Shiv theatre on Ashram Road, smashing glass panes at windows.
By the time police arrived, the raiders had vanished.
“We are yet to identify the persons behind these attacks, which took place at around 10 am. We learned that the miscreants vandalized the ticket windows of both these theatres. We are now collecting CCTV footages to identify the persons. Theatre owners are in the process of lodging a case against the unidentified vandals,” Dy Commissioner of Police Virendra Singh Yadav, said. Though the police did not name Bajrang Dal men as perpetrators, the right-wing organisation claimed responsibility and warned of similar protests in coming days if theatre owners did not obey their command.
“Around 15 to 20 of our members went to these theatres, which are screening Aamir’s movie PK. I am warning other theatres to stop the screening, otherwise, we will intensify our protest in the city in coming days,” said city Bajrang Dal chief Jwalit Mehta, who led the attack.
Claiming that the Aamir starrer had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by making “fun” of their gods and devotees, Mehta said he had called up theatre owners in the city on Sunday and asked them to stop its screening. “They, however, ignored our warning,” he said.
“Since they underestimated us and ignored our warning, we went to these theatres to show them what we can do. I want to warn them that if they don’t stop the screening, we will not hesitate to take extreme steps in coming days,” he said.
“If his (Aamir’s) intention was right, they why the movie didn’t show anything about his own religion Islam? Why only Hindu gods are depicted in bad light?” Mahta asked.
The actor has trashed accusations of him having “insulted” the Hindu religion because he was a Muslim, saying, “We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same”.
Activists of the hardline Hindu outfit also staged a protest outside Jyoti Talkies in Bhopal where the film, which has grossed over Rs.200 crore within days of its release, was being screened. However, there was no report of any violence.
In Mumbai, workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad stalled screening of the movie in Mumbai and Nanded. The workers forced the manager of Deepak Cinema, a down grade cinema hall, at Parel here to stall the film’s screening. A similar move type was taken in Nanded.