Punjab bans 'Messenger of God' screening

Punjab bans 'Messenger of God' screening

Punjab bans 'Messenger  of God' screening

The Punjab government on Saturday decided to ban the screening of controversial movie “MSG-Messenger of God’ in the state with immediate effect in the interest of peace and social harmony.

The upcoming movie, which was earlier scheduled for release on January 23, features Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of prominent Haryana-based sect Dera Sacha Sauda, in the lead role. There have been protests in parts of Punjab, Haryana and New Delhi in the run up to the release of the film. The Punjab government on Saturday said the decision was taken “to safeguard the age-old emotional bonds among people professing different faiths in the state”. The decision will apply to all forms of public and private exhibition and viewing of the film in the state, including in cinema houses.

The government’s decision also comes in the wake of reports of strong reactions and protests that the movie’s trailer evoked in several parts of the country leading to “a serious spillover of the threat of violence in Punjab.”

The government said there are also advisories issued by Central agencies to take necessary steps to prevent any breach of peace or untoward incidents that could arise because of the movie. “The screening of the film is likely to evoke strong emotional reactions leading to public display of conflicting emotions,” said the government spokesperson.

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