Protesting Congress activists forced cancellation of shows of filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s latest release “Indu Sarkar” in different parts of the state on Friday.
The film was screened in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and other cities with tight police security to prevent any untoward incidents.
However, Congress activists, led by the party’s Thane district unit President Manoj Shinde, barged inside the INOX Cinema in Korum Mall and raised slogans condemning the film and Bhandarkar.
The belligerent activists even climbed on the stage near the screen and shouted slogans even against the Bharatiya Janata Party governments in Maharashra and at the Centre.
“This is a deliberate attempt to damage the image of our late Prime minister Indira Gandhi, who contributed so much for the country. We will notw allow the film to be screened,” Shinde told media persons later.
Finally, the theatre decided to cancel the show and refunded the ticket amount to all the patrons.
Similar demonstrations were held outside INOX theatre in neighbouring Kalyan in the district, leading to cancellations of the morning and afternoon shows.
In Jalgaon, Congressmen attempted to barge into the Natwar theatres and when stopped by the police, they vandalised the film’s posters outside. The show was finally cancelled.
The Nashik Congress activists staged protests outside Fame cinemas, compelling the theatre management to cancel the morning shows.
In Nanded, all four local theatres relented and cancelled shows after Congress activists marched there and demanded that screening be stopped.
Earlier this month, Congress’ Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam had sought Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ intervention to stop the film’s release.
They had warned that if the film was found to be distorting historical facts aimed at maligning prominent Congress leaders, party activists would take to the streets.
The much-anticipated political drama was released after the Supreme Court granted its clearance on Thursday.
The film is set against the backdrop of the Emergency imposed during 1975-1977 and related aspects inspired by the main players of that era, including Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi among others.