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Jungle raj in Mumbai

My Name Is Khan in jeopardy as Shiv Sena goes on a rampage against Shah Rukh Khan.

entertainment Updated: Feb 11, 2010 01:40 IST

There is a war going on in Mumbai. Just when cine goers thought a truce has been reached between actor Shah Rukh Khan and Shiv Sena over the release of My Name Is Khan on Friday, the Sena again launched a full-blown attack on theaters that opened advanced booking for the film in Mumbai. In an unprecedented move, theatres stopped advanced booking for the film on Tuesday, putting release plans in jeopardy. “We have removed all publicity material from halls and bookings have been stalled,” says Deepak Taluja of Fun Cinemas.

By Wednesday morning, 1,023 Sena workers had been arrested for rioting, damaging property, unlawful assembly and trespass. Meanwhile, the film’s director Karan Johar, along with its distributors, has been scurrying around, meeting with Mumbai’s police commissioner to request maximum security for the movie. The Mumbai Police later announced deployment of 5 companies of the state reserve police, the highest ever security cover for a movie and issued an advisory to movie goers against carrying handbags in the theatres screening the film.

On his way to Abu Dhabi to attend the film’s premiere, Johar tweeted, “On my way to the airport... nerves are high, morale is higher and the city support is the highest… more power to the mighty Mumbaikar.”

Incidentally, the attacks come just two days after Shiv Sena claimed they would not obstruct the screening of the film. Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut, while comparing Shah Rukh’s security to that of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, rebutted, “We never promised that we would not stop the screening of the film. It was all made up by the media. Humne Shah Rukh ke khilaaf andolan shuru kiya hai, woh chalta rahega. It is not going to stop with the release of the film. SRK is wrong in sympathising with Pakistanis. He has to apologise, otherwise this will go on.”

The stakes are high for both Shah Rukh and Johar. In a first for a Bollywood film, Hollywood’s Fox Star Entertainment has paid a whopping Rs 100 crore for the film’s distribution, which Johar shall be liable for, if the film does not release in Mumbai, which accounts for as much as 40% of the overall revenues.