12 MNS workers arrested for protesting at Metro theatre, will be kept in detention till ADHM’s release

12 MNS workers arrested for protesting outside Metro theatre, will be kept in detention till ADHM's release
MNS workers outside Metro theatre. Picture Courtesy: Ramesh Solanki

Police finally managed to crack down on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers on Wednesday, who had gathered outside Metro theatre in South Bombay to protest against the screening of Karan Johar’s upcoming film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

The members of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS walked into the theater and shouted slogans, before handing over a letter warning the management against screening Johar’s film.

Following the protest, 12 party workers were arrested by the Azad Maidan police station under Sections of the Bombay Police Act. They were later granted bail, but will remain in detention until November 4.

Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said the police invoked Section 151 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code which allows them to secure detention of the accused on the suspicion that they could create trouble if released and their being at large is prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

Under the provision, the police can seek permission from the court and keep the accused in detention upto a maximum of 15 days. As a result, despite being granted bail of Rs 5,000 each, the accused will remain in detention until November 4.

The arrests, however, have done little to deter the party from continuing their protests. “Our protests will continue against the screening of the movie in theatres,” said MNS Chitrapat Sena head Amey Khopkar.

In a meeting with director-general Satish Mathur, Mumbai police commissioner DD Padsalgikar and joint commissioner Deven Bharti, filmmakers had sought protection against MNS’ threats of vandalizing theaters screening their film.

The Mumbai Police assured the producers that they would provide security for the screening of the film, which is scheduled to release on October 28.

Meanwhile, the government has drawn criticism for allowing the party’s threats go unchecked and lack of any pre-emptive measures.

CM Devendra Fadnavis’ first reaction to the incident also came after the MNS workers were arrested.

“The police have taken strict action against MNS today. Twelve members of the MNS who had gone to Metro Theatre to threaten them have been sent to judicial custody until November 4,” Fadnavis told The Indian Express.

He also stated that while everyone had a right to protest, any action which disrupts law and order would not be allowed.

Earlier this week, Johar had also tried to reason with the protesters and urged them to allow the film to release. The filmmaker also assured that going forward he would not engage talent from neighbouring country, given the circumstances.

In the wake of MNS’ threat, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) called for a ban on ADHM.

So far, single screens and multiplexes under Central Cine Circuit Association (CCC) and the Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal have stated that they will not be screening Johar’s film. Their decision is expected to impact almost 200 screens.

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