Pathaan: Stray incidents of vandalism reported on day of release 

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By: Ruby Sharma | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 January, 2023 7:34 pm IST
Vacated INOX Cinema Hall in Gwalior

Protesters on Tuesday vandalized cinema halls and tore posters of Pathaan in Bhagalpur, Bihar as a mark of protest against the film, a day ahead of its release. Protesters threatened to set the theatres on fire if they played the film. They raised slogans like ‘Film Chalega, Hall Jalega’.

The film has attracted the ire of right-wing groups for the song “Besharam Rang” which allegedly insults the colour “saffron” which considered to be holy by Hindus.

“We will not allow the movie screening to happen at cinema halls,” said Pushp Pandey, a Bajrang Dal member

“Hindutva cannot be compromised. Any element that opposes the sanatan culture will not be tolerated in Bhagalpur or anywhere else in India,” said Karan Sharma, Bhartiya Janata Party’s district vice president.

Cinema hall owners have reached out to the state administration and sought protection. “We have sought police security in view of the protest by giving applications to SSP and local police stations. Administration has assured us that we will be provided with security,” said Deepaprabha Cinema Hall manager Lalan Singh.

Singh wonders why the protests have taken such an ugly turn in Bhagalpur. “There is no opposition to the film in other places,” Singh added.

Meanwhile, in Assam’s Geetanagar Police station a right-wing activist Satya Ranjan Bora lodged a police complaint against the film.

In another incident, members of Bajrang Dal barged into an INOX Cinema hall in Gwalior in the middle of the screening and stopped it. They raised slogans against the lead actor Shah Rukh Khan and shouted “Jai Shri Ram”.

It was in Madhya Pradesh where the agitation against Pathaan began with the statement of the state Home Minister Narottam Mishra threatening a ban on the film if the objectionable parts were not edited out.

The Central Board of Film Certification has given a UA certificate following ten cuts. Several changes were made in the conroversial song Besharam Rang.

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