Orissa HC turns down plea to ban movie on Naxals

A division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice I Mohanty rejected the plea on the basis of a report submitted by a high-level panel constituted by the court. The panel was headed by Commissioner of Police for Bhubaneswar  and Cuttack, B K Sharma.

On August 10, the state president of BJP Yuba Morcha, B B Jena, had moved the court seeking a ban on the movie on the ground that it was glorifying  naxalism and justifying the violence unleashed in the state by Maoists.

The court subsequently constituted a high-level panel headed by Sharma and directed it to submit a report to the court after watching the movie. The members of the panel had watched the movie which was premiered across the state on August 12 and submitted its report on August 16.

The panel had reportedly told the court that the movie had no such material glorifying naxalism in the state.

On the eve of its release, the movie also triggered a controversy with the BJP demanding the resignation of ruling BJD Lok Sabha member, Sidhant Mohapatra for “supporting” the Maoists’ cause through the movie.

Mohapatra, a leading artist of Oriya film industry plays the lead character in the film. Backed by his party, Mohapatra had rejected the allegation saying that he had played the role in the movie purely as a professional.

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