Activists halt 'Kaala' screening

Activists halt 'Kaala' screening

The screening of superstar Rajinikanth’s Kaala which began after some hiccups on Thursday morning, was stalled late in the night. Pro-Kannada activists who were taken into custody in the morning, returned to Mantri Square Mall later in the evening and demanded that the screening be stopped. The mall immediately cancelled all the shows and decided to refund the movie-goers. The movie’s screening over the weekend remains uncertain.

Activists managed to get past the police and entered the mall. Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha chief Vatal Nagaraj, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) president Sa Ra Govindu, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike chief Praveen Shetty and actor Anup Sa Ra Govindu demanded a stop to the screening. They refused to budge unless their demand was met.

Actor Anup Sa Ra Govind told DH, “The mall promised not to screen the movie and refund the amount for the shows on Friday. The movie was screened only at Mantri Mall. We request all theatre owners to support the good cause and not screen the movie.”

Conceding to the demand, the mall’s manager Shankar agreed to stop the screening and cancel the other two shows. Shankar said: “None of the shows was disrupted. The other two shows, which were after 9 pm, have been cancelled. Those who had bought tickets will be refunded.”

Earler in the day, the movie was screened amid tight police security. There were a few disruptions on Thursday morning by pro-Kannada activists. Fearing trouble, none of the single-screen cinemas in Bengaluru screened the film, but Inox in Mantri Square Mall and PVR in Orion Mall had screened the movie as per schedule.

Pro-Kannada activists first protested in front of Lido Mall in Halasuru, where a large number of Tamil-speaking people live, and requested the authorities to stop issuing tickets. Later, they went to Orion Mall in Rajajinagar, where they were taken into custody by the police. Vatal Nagaraj and activists of the Karnataka Rakshna Vedike led by Praveen Shetty were taken into custody in front of Mantri Square Mall and shifted to the police training school near Sirsi Circle.

Sa Ra Govindu reached Mantri Square Mall and tried to disrupt the screening. However, he was taken into custody by police.

Govindu told reporters, “Rajinikanth should think of Karnataka’s situation without the Cauvery river. We need it for drinking purpose. He is making statements against Kannadigas and Karnataka only to gain political mileage. Let him take a lead in solving the issue, we will whole heartily welcome him. We are not against Tamil films, Tamilians or Rajinikanth, we are against Rajinikanth’s statements.”