Amid veiled threat by MNS of vandalism at multiplexes if they screen Karan Johar's "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" for featuring a Pakistani actor, the film's producers today met Mumbai's top police officials seeking protection for the theatres to screen it.
A team from Johar's Dharma Productions along with filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt met Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattaray Padsalgikar and Joint Police Commissioner (law and order)Deven Bharti, and sought protection for the theatres to screen to soon-to-be-released film.
Mukesh is the president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
"Mumbai police will provide adequate protection to cinema theatres as and when required," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe said.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had yesterday said it would intensify its opposition to Karan Johar's film as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. They issued a veiled threat of vandalism to the multiplexes if they screened it.
The opposition by MNS and some other political parties to films with actors from Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri terror attack has put a question mark on the fate of Johar's film.
"We will oppose the screening of the movie everywhere in the state. If any multiplex operator dares to screen the film, they (operators) should remember that multiplexes are decorated with expensive glass sheets," MNS leader Amey Khopkar had said yesterday.
The party did not favour employing and cherishing the Pakistani actors so its opposition to such films will continue, he said.
"We will also oppose Shah Rukh Khan's 'Raees' though it is slated to release in January," Khopkar had said.
The single-screen theatre operators have announced that they would not screen Johar's upcoming film, but there was no similar assurance from the multiplex operators so MNS made its stand clear, the party had said.
The Karan Johar-directed "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles and also features Fawad Khan.
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Meanwhile, hundreds of BJP activists including those from Yuva Morcha, today held demonstrations at Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district condemning filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's rant on Twitter wherein he dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the row on casting Pakistani actors.
The activists shouted slogans against Kashyap and also hurled slippers on his photographs.
A large number of women and girls participated in the protest held at Teesgaon Naka this morning where the agitation was held for about an hour.
The protesters also indulged in sloganeering against Pakistan.
Kashyap, in a series of tweets, had said that why should only Indian filmmakers be targeted for casting Pakistani actors when the PM also made a trip to Lahore last year.
"@narendramodi Sir you haven't yet said sorry for your trip to meet the Pakistani PM... It was dec 25th. Same time KJo was shooting ADHM? Why? @narendramodi why is it that we have to face it while you can be silent?" the director had written to show support for Karan Johar's upcoming movie "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil".
Kashyap was trolled on Twitter and also received criticism from some members of the film industry over his comments.
"Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" has landed in soup over casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. In the aftermath of Uri attack last month, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India.
Subsequently, Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association passed a motion to ban the artistes from the neighbouring country.
Recently, Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India also decided to not screen the films with Pakistani actors in four states-- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.