CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Saturday decided to ban with immediate effect the screening of Messenger of God (MSG), featuring controversial godman and Dera Sacha Sauda(DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in the state “in view of reports of tensions over its release in some other parts of the country”.
Sources said the decision was taken in the larger interest of safeguarding the peace and social harmony of the state.
The ban would come into force with immediate effect and shall apply to all forms of (public and private) exhibition and viewing of the film in the state, including in the cinema houses, an official release said.
The government’s decision comes in the wake of reports of strong reactions and protests, which even a promotional trailer of the movie has evoked in several parts of the country, leading to “a serious spill over of the threat of violence in Punjab” and also the advisories issued by Central agencies to take necessary steps to prevent any breach of peace, untoward incident and adverse fall out and other law and order problem. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), INLD and other Sikh outfits had on Friday took to the streets in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi protesting against the movie.
“The screening of the film is likely to evoke strong emotional reactions, leading to public display of conflicting emotions. The government cannot allow the chain of actions and reactions to pose a threat to peace and social harmony of the state. The government is duty-bound to pre-empt and prevent any such eventuality and ensure that the hard earned atmosphere of peace and social harmony in the state is preserved at all costs,” said an official.