Theatres Vandalized as Anti-PK Protests Spread

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Theatres Vandalized as Anti-PK Protests Spread

Protests by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists against Aamir Khan blockbuster 'PK' spread to more states on 30 December, 2014.

Silchar:  Protests by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists against Aamir Khan blockbuster 'PK' spread to more states on Tuesday with some theatres in Assam and Odisha being vandalized, as a saddened Rajkumar Hirani, its director, said the entire film crew respected all religions and faiths.
     
After protests in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh, the protests by the right wing Hindu outfits against the film released on December 19 broke out in Delhi, Odisha, Assam, Haryana and Hyderabad. Some protesters were arrested or detained, Police said.

The protesters burned posters of the movie, which takes a swipe at organized religion and godmen, and burnt effigies of Aamir Khan. They also demanded a ban on the film throughout the country.

Activists of Bajrang Dal and Hindu Sena staged a protest outside Delite cinema hall in Central Delhi and demanded that an FIR be registered against its makers and the star cast.

In Assam, the activists vandalized and stopped screening of the film in two cinema halls in Silchar.

Police said they have arrested three activists of Bajrang Dal, who stormed the 'Gold' and 'Oriental Talkies'.    

"The activists came while the show was going on. They shouted against Khan and the film. Without saying anything, they suddenly started damaging the property like tearing the poster of the film, smashing window panes and breaking ticket counters," one of the owners of the two halls said on condition of anonymity.

In Odisha, the supporters of Bajrang Dal and VHP attacked two cinema halls in Bhubaneswar, demanding ban on screening of the movie.

Alleging that the film hurts sentiments of majority Hindus, about a hundred activists barged into the Keshari theatre and pulled down posters and promotional materials of the movie.

The activists also ransacked the glass panes at ticket counters and pelted stones at the shops inside the premises of the theatre and damaged some vehicles.

Similar incidents were reported from Shriya Talkies near Master Canteen.

In a statement, Hirani, 52 , said he had no intention to hurt anyone's sentiments and maintained that the film upholds the true spirit of religion while condemning "only the abuse" of it.

"I'm deeply saddened and concerned about the protests by some groups against our film 'PK'. On behalf of the entire team of 'PK', I would like to clarify that we respect all religions and faiths," he said.

"Our film is inspired by the ideas of Sant Kabir and Mahatma Gandhi. It is a film, which brings to fore the thought that all humans who inhabit this planet are the same. There are no differences," he said
    
He appealed to the protesting groups to see the film in totality and not just isolated scenes. "Our intention is not to hurt anyone, or to discriminate against any religion. I would once again like to assure them that I have the highest regard towards all religions, and that we respect all religions and faiths."

The film has already earned Rs 246.32 crore at the Indian box office. 

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