A case has been registered against seven people, including a woman, for allegedly not standing up for the national anthem in a cinema hall in Chennai on Sunday, The Hindu reported. A Times of India report said three of them were roughed up too. The incident is the first such case being reported since the Supreme Court order made it compulsory for all cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of a movie and for people present to stand up while it is being played.
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The Hindu reports that the seven allegedly took selfies while the national anthem was being played inside the theatre in Chennai’s Ashok Nagar. This reportedly led to a fracas with another group of movie-goers who objected to this.
Chennai Police meanwhile registered a case under provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, against the accused. The Hindu also reports that police action was taken only after a patrol team saw groups of movie-goers fighting outside the theatre. One of the men involved said that he was allegedly manhandled and threatened for not standing up when the national anthem was played. Members of both groups were later taken to the Ashok Nagar Police Station for an inquiry, The Hindu reports.
On the other hand, a separate complaint was filed against movie-goers who allegedly manhandled the seven people, accusing them of having threatened and abused them for not standing up during the national anthem.
The Supreme Court on November 30, in its order, had directed cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of every movie and stated that all persons present must stand up in respect. The apex court last week, had modified its order exempting differently-abled persons from the rule.