Police promise extra security for "My Name Is Khan"
Security will be increased at cinemas for the release of the latest Shah Rukh Khan film "My Name Is Khan" after a row between the actor-producer and the Shiv Sena, police said on Tuesday.india Updated: Feb 09, 2010 17:57 IST
Security will be increased at cinemas for the release of the latest Shah Rukh Khan film "My Name Is Khan" after a row between the actor-producer and the Shiv Sena, police said on Tuesday.
Mumbai police's joint commissioner for law and order, Himanshu Roy, said officers could be deployed to the 63 theatres in the city showing "My Name Is Khan", while checks will be made on cinema-goers.
"We will provide the security as long as it is required," he told a news conference in Mumbai after meeting multiplex owners concerned about possible attacks by activists from the Shiv Sena organisation.
"There will be a high level of frisking and personal checking before they are allowed to enter into theatres," he added, but refused to go into exact details about the security arrangements.
Director Karan Johar, who also attended the meeting, told reporters the police had assured the delegation of "full security" for the screenings.
"The movie will be released on the scheduled date and advance bookings are open nationwide," he added.
"My Name Is Khan" -- about a man with Asperger's Syndrome living in San Francisco who falls in love with a Hindu woman against the backdrop of the fallout from the September 11, 2001 attacks -- hits screens on Friday.
The release has been overshadowed by the Shiv Sena's objections to Khan's comments regretting the absence of any Pakistani players in the forthcoming Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament, which begins next month.
Khan's parents were born in what is now Pakistan and he part-owns IPL outfit the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Shiv Sena has been a self-styled promoter of "Maharashtrian pride" for nearly four decades, championing the rights of people from the state over "outsiders" and the local language Marathi, often with violence.
The organisation is also vocally anti-Muslim and sees itself as a defender of traditional Hindu moral values.
Last November, activists defaced promotional posters for the film "Kurbaan" (Sacrifice), which showed the actress Kareena Kapoor from behind and apparently naked from the waist up.
Previous targets have included Mumbai-born cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar -- for saying he was proud of his roots but was Indian first -- and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan after his wife said she preferred to speak Hindi.
A campaign was also launched against Peshawar-born screen legend Dilip Kumar when he received Pakistan's highest civilian award.
The Shiv Sena has recently threatened to target Australian cricketers playing in the IPL because of a series of attacks on Indian students Down Under.
Khan has so far refused to apologise for backing the participation of Pakistani players in the IPL and defended his patriotism.