The screening of Bollywood film Article 15, which deals with casteism, has been stopped at a Roorkee cinema hall in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district over law-and-order concerns, an official said on Tuesday.
Roorkee sub-divisional magistrate Ravindra Singh Bisht said the cinema hall management was asked to not screen the film after fringe outfits like the Hindu Sena and Bhim Sena approached the administration over the last two days alleging that the movie had “maligned” a particular community.
“It’s just an interim order issued due to law-and-order concerns as protesters in Haridwar (town) had forcibly stalled screening of the film there,” Bisht told PTI. “The restriction is temporary in nature and will be lifted if the situation remains normal.”
The official added that the main grouse of the Hindu outfits was that the film, starring actor Ayushmann Khurrana, “unfairly” targeted a particular community over the 2014 Badaun gang-rape incident of two girls in Uttar Pradesh.
The sub-divisional magistrate said the restriction should not be treated as a ban.
“We have no authority to ban the film as the Central Board of Film Certification has cleared it,” he said. “But if we perceive a law-and-order problem in the town because of what is being shown in a theatre, we can always stop its screening.”
The screening of the film was also suspended in Kanpur on Friday after various Brahmin organisations protested outside theatres and tore off film posters, the police had said. It, however, resumed on Saturday.
Actor Sara Ali Khan’s debut movie Kedarnath was also banned in Uttarakhand last year after right-wing outfits objected to its content on religious grounds.