Maharashtra Chief Minister Says No Police Probe Against 'PK'

31/12/2014 8:12 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 30: Poster of Aamir Khan-starrer film PK torn by activists of rightwing organizations Bajrang Dal and Hindu Sena outside Delite Cinema Theater on December 30, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Right-wing outfits accused Aamir Khan-starrer PK of hurting religious sentiments of the majority community demanded a ban on the film. Bollywood and theatre owners came out openly in support of the hugely successful Hindi film which takes a hard-hitting swipe at organised religion and godmen. (Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that there was no move to review Aamir Khan-starrer 'PK' by the state police since the film has been already cleared by the censor board, according to television reports. CM Fadnavis said on Wednesday afternoon that a film's screening can't be stopped once it has been cleared by the censor board, reported Headlines Today.

Earlier on Tuesday evening the Maharashtra home department has asked the state police to investigate if the Aamir Khan-starrer 'PK' has any "objectionable material", and take "suitable action" if "necessary."

Minister of state for home (rural) Ram Shinde had told TOI on Tuesday evening, "I have asked special IG (law and order) Deven Bharti to check if any of the dialogues or scenes in 'PK' contain objectionable material that can hurt religious sentiments or create law and order problems. I have requested him to submit his report at the earliest, and if necessary, we will take action under suitable sections of the law. I may watch the film myself to ascertain its contents."

The police at the time were reportedly waiting to receive the mandate of the inquiry. Special IG Bharti had told TOI, "We are awaiting the mandate of the inquiry. Once we know what is expected of us we will follow it through."

This move by the state home ministry came after nationwide protests by right-wing groups against the film's screening. Even on Wednesday, nearly 200 Bajrang Dal activists protested outside a cinema hall in Delhi and stopped the screening of the movie.

Neeraj Doneria, Delhi state convener of the Bajrang Dal, told IANS that the activists gathered outside Nand Nagri's Gagan cinema in east Delhi around 11.30 am on Wednesday. "We protested against the screening the movie and also burned Aamir's effigies and the film's posters," he said.

Doneria said they stopped protesting after being assured by the owner of the cinema hall that he would not screen the movie any further.

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists had also protested Tuesday at various cinema halls in central and south Delhi area and also vandalised a theatre.

While Shinde called this a law and order issue that did not infringe upon the responsibility or the authority of the Censor Board, the union minister of information and broadcasting has separately already said that it was beyond his ministry's scope to restrict the viewing of 'PK', and those opposed to it were at liberty to move court.

"The information and broadcasting ministry has no legal right whatsoever to restrict the viewing of any film," said Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, union minister of state for information and broadcasting on Tuesday. "Freedom of speech is enshrined in our Constitution."

Right-wing group VHP had earlier written to the information and broadcasting ministry demanding a curb on "such movies" which are "changing the character of the censor board."

In a letter to the ministry, the VHP said "the movie has been made to hurt and provoke Hindu religious sentiments."

The letter, signed by VHP spokespersons Vinod Bansal and Vijay Shankar Tiwari, referred to some scenes in the movie and said some similar movies "targeting Hindu practices" have been made in the past which have been ignored by the censor board.

"It is requested that such films are stopped and character of institutions like censor board, which approve such movies, is corrected," the letter said.

Members of the Bajrang Dal and VHP have protested outside theatres, tore the film's posters, and raised slogans denouncing actor Aamir Khan and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani.

However, senior Bharata Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has hailed the movie as a "wonderful and courageous film."

Hirani has issued a statement, saying, "I appeal to the groups protesting against our film to see the film in totality and not just isolated scenes. Our intention is not to hurt anyone, or to discriminate against any religion."

Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has even gone a step further and drawn connections between terrorists and the film, claiming it was funded by terrorism groups.

On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has made 'PK' entertainment tax-free in his state.

(with agency inputs)

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