HYDERABAD/VIZIANAGARAM: In a decision that has sparked off a controversy, the district administration of Vizianagaram, on the directions of Panchayat Raj Minister B Satyanarayana, directed that the screening of Magadheera, a film starring Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Teja, be banned at all theatres in the district with immediate effect.
The decision was taken after electrocution of five film fans while jostling to purchase tickets at Lakhsmi Theatre in Salur in the district on Sunday.
The minister, after consluting the district collector, said that it would be the responsibility of the producers and distributors to ensure moviegoers’ safety at theatres. In fact, they should take permission from the district administration for releasing a film after convincing the officials that safety measures were in place.
Disclosing the district administration’s decision, Satyanarayana said he had asked Magadheera distributor and producer to provide financial assistance to the kin of the victims.
He also recalled that the State Government had already provided relief to the families of the victims. Soon after the news broke out that Satyanararayana had ordered ban on screening of the film in Vizianagaram district, a large number of fans of Chiranjeevi, Pavan Kalyan and Charan expressed resentment and rushed to the theatres.
The film was released in nine theatres including Saluru.
The Lakshmi theatre had already stopped screening the film after the electrocution incident.
Ram Charan Teja fans’ district president K Krishna Rao condemned the minister’s statement and said that the fans would not keep quiet if screening of the film was banned.
When contacted, District Collector G Ramanarayana Reddy, confirmed the Minister’s directions but said orders banning the film were yet to be issued.
He said he had directed the tahsildars to inspect theatres and verify if safety measures were in place.