‘PK’ fire spreads to Odisha as Hindu outfits vandalise theatres

Bhubaneswar: A day after protests in Ahmedabad and Bhopal, the controversy over Aamir Khan-starrer ‘PK’ escalated in Odisha today after suspected activists of Hindu outfit Vishwa Hindu Parisha (VHP) and its youth front Bajrang Dal vandalized two theatres in the city demanding a ban on the movie for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

According to eye witnesses, over a hundred protestors barged into the Keshari Talkies and destroyed posters of the movie. The angry mob also ripped some of the promotional posters of the film and burnt them in front of the theatre.

The protestors became more violent when the employees of the cinema hall tried to stop them. They went on ransacking the glass panes at ticket counters and pelted stones at the shops inside the premises of the theatre. The mob also damaged some vehicles parked there.

Similar incidents were reported from Shriya Talkies too. However, details of the incidents are yet to come by.

The activists of the saffron outfits had staged protests against the film in Bhopal and Ahmedabad on Monday even as the Censor Board has refused to take any action against the film. Censor Board chairperson Leela Samson said it will not remove any scene from the film as it has already been released.

PK, which was released on December 19, found itself in the midst of controversies on many fronts. The most vociferous opposition came from religious leaders and organizations, mainly Hindus, who have demanded a ban on it in order to ensure communal harmony.

The film, which earned Rs 214 crore in the first nine days of its release, has sparked protests also from Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and All India Hindu Mahasabha while police complaints have been filed in several parts of country alleging that it mocked Hindu gods and its contents were “highly provocative”.

Similar protests have come from Muslims and Christians also but they have not reacted so violently.