Amid high alert sounded in the zone after the Censor Board nod to the film ‘MSG: The Messenger of God’ starring Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, uneasy calm prevailed in the district on Friday.
The police, along with Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, took out a flag march in towns of Sangat and Bhagta as a precautionary measure. Police officials flag marches were conducted in other towns under the zone and will continue. A flag march was conducted in Bathinda city on Thursday.
Bathinda zone IGP Paramraj Singh Umranangal, said high alert had been sounded in the region. There are a huge number of supporters of the Dera chief in Bathinda, Mansa and Moga and having remained the epicentre of clashes betweenDera followers and Sikh organisations in 2007, extra vigil is needed. The Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, is among the organisations that have sought a ban on the movie.
“We have the force to deal with any law and order issue, but higher-ups have conveyed to me that more paramilitary and Punjab police forces will be sent,” said Umranagal. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the Dera’s Punjab headquarters at Salabatpura in Bathinda.
In-charge of Punjab headquarters of the Dera Jora Singh said: “We haven’t received any news yet on the release of the movie.”
Honour Leela Samson: Daduwal
Radical Sikh leader Baljit Singh Daduwal has asked of the Akal Takht to honour Leela Samson, chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).“Leela Samson has done an act of bravery by exposing conspiracy behind green signal to MSG. She also resigned from the post. Akal Takht should honour her with bravery award,” said Daduwal, who also went on to announce that MSG will not be allowed to run in Punjab at any cost.
Theatres not ready to run the movie
MSG may have get green signal from the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, however, its release in the cinemas of Bathinda is still not sure. All tcinema owners in Bathinda have decided to not run the movie. Mohan Lal, manager of Pukhraj cinema said, “No Cinema house in Bathinda will run the movie. This is a collective decision.” Initially, Ajaib cinema had agreed to run the movie and posters were also installed. However, later cinema owners backtracked. Bathinda caters to movie lovers of at least eight districts of Malwa.