With the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena threatening vandalism at multiplexes if they screen Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, whose starcast includes popular Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, the film's producers have met Mumbai's top police officials to seek protection for film's screenings.
A team from Johar's Dharma Productions, along with filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt, met Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattaray Padsalgikar and Joint Police Commissioner (law and order) Deven Bharti, to seek protection for the theatres scheduled to screen the soon-to-be-released film.
Bhatt is the president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
"The Mumbai police will provide adequate protection to cinema theatres as and when required," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe said.
The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has said it will intensify its opposition to Johar's film as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. They issued a veiled threat of vandalism at the multiplexes if they screened the film.
"We will oppose the screening of the movie everywhere in the state. If any multiplex operator dares to screen the film, they (operators) should remember that multiplexes are decorated with expensive glass sheets," MNS leader Ameya Khopkar said yesterday.
"We will also oppose Shah Rukh Khan's Raees though it is slated to release in January," Khopkar added. He has also threatened to "beat up" filmmakers Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt if they worked with, or released films, featuring Pakistani artistes (Read the report here).
The single-screen theatre operators have announced that they would not screen Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but there was no similar assurances from multiplex operators so the MNS has made its stand clear, the party said.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil also stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma.
Meanwhile, hundreds of BJP activists, including those from the Yuva Morcha, held demonstrations at Kalyan in the neighbouring Thane district, condemning filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's rant on Twitter wherein he dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the row on casting Pakistani actors in Hindi films.
The activists shouted slogans against Kashyap and hurled slippers at his photographs.
A large number of women and girls participated in the protest held at Teesgaon Naka, where the agitation went on for about an hour.
The protesters also indulged in sloganeering against Pakistan.
Kashyap, in a series of tweets, had asked why Indian filmmakers were targeted for casting Pakistani actors when the PM had made a trip to Lahore last year.
'@narendramodi Sir you haven't yet said sorry for your trip to meet the Pakistani PM... It was dec 25th. Same time KJo was shooting ADHM? Why? @narendramodi why is it that we have to face it while you can be silent?' the director had tweeted.
Kashyap was trolled on Twitter and criticised by some members of the film industry over his comments.
In the aftermath of Uri attack, the MNS issued an ultimatum asking Pakistani artistes to leave India. Subsequently, Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association passed a motion to ban the artistes from the neighbouring country.
Recently, the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India also decided not to screen the films with Pakistani actors in four states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.
The upcoming MAMI festival too has dropped the Pakistani film, Jago Hua Savera, from its screening list.