Hundreds of people were disappointed on Saturday after theatres withdrew the screening of Aarakshan, following an order issued by the Gurgaon administration late on Friday night.
All shows starting 9pm on Friday were withdrawn from PVR, DT Cinemas, Big Cinemas and SRS Films at several malls.
Those who had bought tickets were unaware of the development, and they created a ruckus outside theatres.
However, Haryana chief secretary Urvashi Gulati said the state government or the district administration had not passed any order to ban the screening of Aarakshan. On why the police went to theatres to enforce the 'ban' on screening without the backing of a formal order, Gulati said she has no information on this matter.
Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena was unavailable for comments, and a meeting of theatre authorities with Meena on Saturday afternoon failed to clear the confusion.
"A perfect weekend has been spoilt. On Saturday evening, we were shocked to find that the movie has been banned when we went to PVR in MGF Metropolitan Mall. Neither the government nor the theatre authorities bothered to inform us in advance," said Gurgaon resident Girish Kumar.
Head (operations) of DT Cinemas, Anant Verma, said the administration's move was "shocking" as there was no protest against the movie in Gurgaon by any social group.
"On Friday late evening, we got a message from the administration, asking us to withdraw the movie without giving any reason. The administration sent policemen to ensure the shows were stopped," said Verma.
"We had no choice but to follow the order, and withdraw all shows starting 9pm and even on Saturday. Then we met deputy commissioner PC Meena, who told us that the move was a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident," added Verma.
According to PVR officials, screening was stopped at MGF, Sahara and Ambience Mall, which have a capacity to seat 3,000 people.
"All shows on weekends are usually booked full. In fact this movie has been running successfully in the state. We also didn't get time to inform our customer on time," said Rahul Singh, senior vice-president (operations), PVR.
"The administration did not give any prior information or statement, but suddenly asked us to stop the screening. This has caused huge financial losses to us," added Singh.
Singh said business would have been good on Saturday since it was Raksha Bandhan.
"We are talking with the authorities and we hope the issue will be solved soon," said Singh.
The controversy over the film is due to allegations from certain sections of society that some dialogues are derogatory to dalits. According to police, they asked theatres to stop screening the movie as it dealt with a sensitive issue.
Police commissioner SS Deswal claimed that they did not stop screening of the movie. Hundreds of people who turned up to watch the movie are demanding an explanation for the sudden turn of events on Friday night.