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Fearing protests,theatres in Haryana skip Khap show

They had asked the public to boycott the film and issued veiled threats of violence if it was screened.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh |
July 30, 2011 3:40:41 am

The release of film Khap — highlighting the role of khap mahapanchayats in honour killings in Haryana — ran into trouble in the state on Friday after many exhibitors refused to screen it fearing violence from Jat supporters.

Many Jat leaders of the state had threatened to take to the streets and protest against the screening of the film,alleging it was anti-khap and showed the traditional panchayats in poor light. They had asked the public to boycott the film and issued veiled threats of violence if it was screened.

The film starring Om Puri and Mohnish Bahl was released across the country on Friday,except in Haryana where only a few cinema halls went ahead with its screening. Ajai Sinha,the writer and director of the film,told The Indian Express from Mumbai that the state police had advised several exhibitors to refrain from showing the film to avoid damage to their halls.

“Sheer anarchy seems to be prevailing in Haryana. It is the one state where the film should be widely seen. If they are going to stop its screening what’s the point? I have been told by those handling the distribution of the film that the exhibitors have been contacted by the Haryana Police that they fear violence due to the threats issued by khap leaders and it would be better if they did not show the film at all,” said Sinha.

The police,however,denied any role. “We have not issued any such instructions to cinema hall owners. On the contrary,we had offered security in cinema halls for its successful release. The decision not to screen the film was of the owners themselves,” said B S Sandhu,ADGP (Law and Order),Haryana.

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