Gujarat theatres not to screen 'Fanaa'

Jun 5, 2006 IANS

Ahmedabad, June 5 (IANS) Gujarat's multiplex and theatre owners have reiterated that they will not screen Aamir Khan's "Fanaa" even as the Supreme Court Monday said they could seek police protection if they wanted to release the film.

"We maintain our stand of not exhibiting 'Fanaa' as the actor has not yet apologised (for his remarks)," said Manubhai Patel, president of the Multiplex Owners' Association.

The apex court dismissed a petition by Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt seeking direction to the state government to ensure peaceful screening of the film. A vacation bench of the court said the state's theatre owners could seek police protection if they wanted to screen this film.

Activists of Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have prevented the screening of the film following Aamir's support to the cause of rehabilitation of those ousted by the Sardar Sarovar dam project on the Narmada river in the state - seen a lifeline for its drought-prone parts.

It had asked Aamir to apologise to the people of Gujarat for his remarks, but the actor refused, saying he would continue to speak for the poor and marginalised sections of society.

Defending the association's decision not to release "Fanaa" in Gujarat, Patel said: "We are only reflecting the Gujarati people's feelings by not screening the film."

Patel maintained that the decision to boycott the Aamir starrer was voluntary and there was no pressure from the state government or the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Union Textile Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, a former chief minister, called the court's decision a "slap" for the Narendra Modi government.

"Whatever Aamir Khan has said is right. Our only objection is that he has aligned with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) that is anti-Gujarat," he said.

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