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Dera chief's bhakts protest MSG-2 ban; train services hit in Punjab

Source: PTI
September 20, 2015 20:42 IST
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Supporters of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect blocked rail and road traffic at various places in Punjab for the second day on Sunday, demanding that cinema halls screen sect leader Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh's film MSG-2.

The protesters claimed that though no ban has been imposed on the film, still many owners of multiplexes and cinemas were not exhibiting it in the state, which had seen backlash by Sikhs against the sect leader's first film in January.

Tension prevailed due to protests by Dera followers in several parts of the state including Moga, Bathinda, Patiala, Ferozepur and Sangrur, keeping security personnel on their toes.

Six express/mail and 27 passenger trains in Ferozepur division were cancelled, causing inconvenience to commuters, officials said.

The film is a sequel to MSG: The Messenger of God which was banned by Punjab government in January following protests by Sikhs.

The state police had asked all district police chiefs to ascertain whether the release of the MSG-2 will pose any threat to law and order in the state.

BJP-ruled Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh had on Saturday decided to ban the screening of the film reportedly over "objectionable" dialogues against tribal communities.

Despite incessant rains at some places in Punjab, the followers of Dera blocked continued protests on Sunday, officials said.

A large posse of police has been deployed in the Bhatinda area, where protesters including women have been squatting on tracks since yesterday. Policemen have been called from seven neighbouring districts.

Enraged over non-screening of MSG 2, the Dera followers held protest at several places in Ferozepur and blocked the Ferozepur-Fazilka GT Road.

In Patiala, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda blocked the Patiala-Sangrur road.

Many cinema owners have refrained from screening the movie fearing backlash from Sikh protesters.

MSG-2 hit over 2000 screens across the country last Friday. The film's overseas release is slated for next week.

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