Maharashtra government's two-month ban on Deshdrohi, the film reportedly based on north Indian migrants to Mumbai, comes after city police took into consideration the backlash from MNS and others if the film was allowed to be released in the present format.
"There has been criticism from various quarters, specially the north Indian leaders over the state's law and order situation in the backdrop of Raj Thackeray-led MNS' violent agitation against north Indians. Police did not want to take any chance," a senior Home Department official said.
The movie is scheduled to be released on November 14.
Promos of the film airing on several TV channels had given police a taste of things to come as several dialogues were construed as being provocative.
"Police submitted a report to the government after watching the film and recommended a ban on it, apprehending law and order problems," the official said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) K L Prasad, Additional Director Generals D Shivanandan and Ahmed Javed were among the top police officers who watched the film on November eight. They had asked the film's writer, producer and actor Kamaal Khan for a separate screening before its release in view of the MNS' anti-north Indian campaign in the state and backlash in various parts of the country.
Khan reacted sharply to the development, saying he would take legal recourse to ensure that the film is released.
MNS has welcomed the ban. Party spokesperson Shirish Parkar told PTI that the government should not show guts and take action against SP legislator Kishor Amrite who offered Rs one crore to anyone killing Raj Thackeray.
"The state government should not just boast to Delhi leaders that they have filed as many as 54 cases against the MNS chief," Parkar said.