Two Haryana theatres continued to screen the controversial Punjabi film Sadda Haq for four consecutive days despite state government banning it.
Caught napping,the Haryana government swung into action late Tuesday and stopped the screening of the film at Harsha K3C and Movietime theatres in Karnal.
On receiving the information,we checked the two cinema halls and found that the movie was being screened in violation of the government orders. They had been screening it since April 6. In fact,orders were sent to every movie theatre owner and manager to not screen the film on the evening of April 5. Though these two cinema halls did not screen the film on Friday,April 5,they started some shows next day onwards, Karnal Superintendent of Police Shashank Anand told The Indian Express.
The film was banned on April 5 in Punjab,Haryana,Chandigarh and Delhi. Anand said the owners and managers of both the cinema halls will be booked for violating government orders. Instructions have been issued to register criminal cases against the owners and managers. We are also examining if relevant sections pertaining to hurting religious sentiments can be added to the FIRs, he added.
Meanwhile,producer,writer and lead actor of the film,Kuljinder Singh Sidhu,said,There was no written order of a ban. He said that Karnal cinema halls saw houseful shows and the collections and other data will be revealed by film trade analysts by Thursday.
All India distributor for the film,Jalandhar-based Munish Sahni said the film saw a peaceful screening in Karnal,Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh,Indore in Madhya Pradesh and in Mumbai. Audiences are flocking the cinema halls, Sahni said even as agreed that there has been a huge loss.
Contacted,Devinder Saggi of Harsha K3C Cinemas in Karnal,where Sadda Haq was being screened,said,On an average,20-25 people turned up per show. There was no law and order problem.
In the non-banned territories,the response has been decent. We have three shows and 50 per cent occupancy for Sadda Haq. Sunday was packed,and a lot of Sikh population is turning up to watch the film, said Suni Dhamija,manager TQ Cinemas,Indore. While Dhamija is trying to keep one show for the next week,Hamirpur might have to give it up because of lack of Punjabi population in Himachal. In Mumbai,Joseph Francis of K Sera Sera Miniplex registered good feedback from the Punjabi community and has planned shows for next week too.