Chandigarh: Controversial film MSG: The Messenger, starring Sirsa-based Dera Sachcha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, finally hit the silver screen amid tight security on Friday.
Haryana saw ruckus by Sikh organisations while in Delhi protesters managed to stall the screening at some places.
Cinema theaters wore the look of a political rally across Haryana and Chandigarh. Multiplexes were turned into a fortress by the administration. But that didn’t stop Dera supporters from watching the film. The young followers ditched Ranbir Kapoor’s Roy for MSG.
“I like Ranbir Kapoor too, but youth should watch other good stuff as well. I had that choice today, so came for this movie,” said a young follower who travelled all the way from Sangroor.
Another follower from Bathinda appealed to those opposing the film. “The movie has nothing against any religion or faith… I appeal those opposing it should watch it first,” he said.
For the state government though, peaceful screening was an uphill task. Sikh protesters created ruckus at at least three malls in the national capital Delhi, resulting in a forced interval. While in Haryana, police and paramilitary forces struggled to keep protesters away from the theaters.
Director General of Police (DGP) YP Singhal, who took stock of the situation through video conferencing, told NDTV that the movie has been released all across the state.
“There are no reports of any untoward incident… we will review the situation and take a call on continuing security arrangements at theatres,” he said.
The Dera chief is at loggerheads with Sikh organisations for allegations of blasphemy, a reason which forced the Punjab government to ban the movie fearing a law and order situation.