'Fanaa' finally hits a Gujarat theatre

Jun 6, 2006 IANS

Ahmedabad, June 6 (IANS) Citing great demand for the film from the audience, a theatre owner in the Saurashtra town of Jamnagar has decided to screen Aamir Khan-starrer "Fanaa" Tuesday, defying a ban by cinema-related associations.

The owner of Ambar theatre in Jamnagar, Mansur Sheikh, said: "I decided to screen the film after the Supreme Court order that the theatre owners can ask for police protection to ensure trouble-free screening. I have asked for police protection."

Ambar theatre will be the first cinema hall in the state to screen the film after its release elsewhere 12 days ago.

"The audience here wanted to see the film and we are now having three shows daily. Hitherto, the public response is very good," said Sheikh.

He said that Jamnagar, 350 km from here, is a "quiet place" and he did not expect any mischief from workers of any political party.

About one and a half months ago, the "Fanaa" hero Aamir Khan demanded proper rehabilitation of the farmers displaced by the construction of the Narmada dam. Political parties, particularly the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were immediately up in arms against the actor for his solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA - Save Narmada Movement) activists.

He, however, limited himself to the issue of rehabilitation and did not make any comment on the dam height, the crux of the problem at that time.

Meanwhile, following threats from the BJP youth wing not allowing any of Aamir Khan's films in the state, the multiplex owners' association as well as theatre owners' association had decided not to screen "Fanaa".

The associations are still not releasing the film and are demanding that Aamir apologise first to the people of Gujarat for his "anti-Narmada", and hence "anti-Gujarat" comments.

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