Film featuring Dera Sachcha Sauda chief may be put on hold

Film featuring Dera Sachcha Sauda chief may be put on hold

Film featuring Dera Sachcha Sauda chief may be put on hold

The screening of a movie featuring controversial chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, in lead role may be put on hold as the Home Ministry is fearing communal flare-up during its show.

The Home Ministry is mulling approaching the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to stop the screening of the film, 'Messenger of God' as it has specific inputs that various Sikh groups are planning protests against his "glorification".

The movie, which is scheduled to be released on Friday, may not be allowed to be screened in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh at all if the Home Ministry continues to receive adverse inputs, sources said.

However, a final decision will be taken at the highest level of the government as the Dera Sacha Sauda chief is said to have supported BJP in recent Haryana assembly elections. The party formed the state government after winning the polls.

Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, part of NDA government at the Centre, is believed to be opposed to the Dera chief. BJP is an alliance partner of Akali Dal in Punjab government.

The Dera chief also had a running battle with the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, after newspapers had carried his photo in an attire of Sikh guru Govind Singh some years ago. The Akal Takht had accused the Dera chief of blasphemy and Sikhs and Dera supportets had fought street battles in the wake of that incident.

Meanwhile, fearing communal flare-up during the screening of the movie, the Centre has asked all states to take every possible step to prevent any untoward incident as Sikh groups were against "glorification" of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief who is allegedly facing serious criminal cases.

In an advisory, the Home Ministry said inputs have been received that 'Messenger of God' is likely to be released on Friday.

"Various Sikh organisations and individuals are opposing the movie on the ground that its release would disturb the communal harmony and law and order. They also opine that glorification of DSS chief, facing serious criminal cases, should not be allowed," the advisory said.

The Home Ministry said tension between DSS followers and Sikhs always remain a potential flash point in view of ongoing rivalry between the Sikh and the Dera followers.