Mangaluru: Social activist Vidya Dinker – a coordinator for Citizen’s Forum for Mangaluru Development has filed a case in Pandeshwar police station-Mangaluru against Bajrang Dal and other saffron group activists for forcibly stopping the screening of Shah Rukh Khan Hindi movie ‘Dilwale’ , while it was showing in various theatres in the city on 20 December. In the complaint, Sharan Pumpwell-the Bajrang Dal state convener has also been named in the case. As reported earlier, on 20 December members of Bajrang Dal and other saffron outfits raided various theatres in the city and forcibly stopped the screening Bollywood movie ‘Dilwale’ directed by Rohit Shetty. The raids were in protest against Shah Rukh Khan for his statement on ‘intolerance’ .
A memorandum was submitted to the commissioner of police S Murugan on Monday, December 21 by Dinker. The following are the contents of the memorandum :
Sri S. Murugan, IPS
Commissioner of Police
Mangalore Police Commissionerate
Sub: Increasing incidences of ‘Immoral Policing’ – concerted action sought.
We are deeply distressed to learn from various authenticated media reports, victim statements and eye witness accounts that antisocial elements have been forcibly preventing the exhibition of ‘Dilwale’, a Hindi film starring Shah Rukh Khan at various film theatres in Mangalore city. It is reported that rowdies belonging to Bajrang Dal attacked the three multiplexes in the city, namely PVR, Cinepolis and Big Cinemas, which had scheduled screenings of the film and tickets had also been sold for the same. It is reported that on Sunday 20th Dec. 2015, the gangs shouted abusively at the cinema outlets, trespassed into the premises and tore up posters of the film.
Cine-goers were visibly distressed by the incident and the multiplex managements panicked and cancelled the subsequent shows. As of now, the movie’s screenings continue to be cancelled at the multiplexes and have not been revived by the managements due to security concerns. When one of the individual theatre owners sought police protection, he was allegedly told by police officials to run the show at his own risk. It is reported in the media that Bajrang Dal leader Sharan Pumpwell has openly accepted responsibility for the attack. He even attributed their motive as being to enforce boycott of Shah Rukh Khan’s films in retaliation against certain comments made by him regarding the issue of intolerance.
We hereby wish to express our outrage over these affronts on our civil rights. Such incidences of immoral policing have been going on rampantly for the last few years. Citizens are being told what to do and what not to do by these goons and their anti-social outfits. These rowdies are holding civil society to ransom and citizens’ rights are being compromised. The police department has regrettably failed in reigning in these anti social elements. Even in this case, our enquiries with eye witnesses at the affected multiplexes have revealed that police contingent played the role of a silent bystander and made no attempt to intervene when Bajrang Dal goons tore up the movie posters right under their noses.
We wish to place on record our strong protest against anti democratic and illegal attacks on civil society and citizens rights by various self styled extremist and religious fundamentalist outfits who are virtually ruling the city with intimidation and criminal tactics. This trend of unofficial censorship and moral policing is shameful, unfortunate and amounts to virtual murder of democracy.
We also express our dismay on the futile role played by police during such incidences. It is always observed that the criminal elements have their way and police intervention is either non-existent, too late, too weak or totally ineffective. A parallel government is being established by these criminal syndicates and citizens are losing confidence in the police and official machinery.
We urge you to take immediate remedial action and restore public confidence. Specifically we appeal for immediate relief as follows:
-Providing security to all cinemas exhibiting “Dilwale’ Hindi Film.
-Initiate enquiry and come out with an official statement on the issue and assure the public that it is safe to visit the cinemas.
-Take action against the guilty parties including their arrest and prosecution as applicable
-Take film exhibitors into confidence and ensure such incidents are not repeated. Assure them protection for immediate revival of screening of “Dilwale’.
We trust that you will respond positively to this appeal.
With Warm Regards,
Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development