Members of the local unit of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) staged a protest against the upcoming controversial film, ‘MSG-Messenger of God’, here on Monday.
As the INLD leaders had announced to burn an effigy of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a large number of dera followers also gathered at the Committee Chowk to foil any such attempt.
Apprehending violence, the district administration made elaborate arrangements to control any untoward situation.
Earlier, the dera representatives met the district officials and urged them not to allow the political activists to burn the effigy.
Following the intervention of the local authorities, the INLD members dropped the programme of burning the effigy.
However, the protest ended peacefully with the INLD activists submitting a memorandum to duty magistrate tehsildar Hari Om Atri against screening of the film.
INLD’s district spokesman Harpal Singh Ror alleged that black money was used in the making of the film.
“A saint has no business in film making but here the dera head, who is involved in several heinous crimes, is in the lead role. Contrary to his negative image, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is playing his own character as a pious man,” he said, while urging the Haryana government banning the controversial film.
However, Rajpal Insan, a dera representative, said the followers had no objection to the INLD’s protests. “We only wanted the INLD not to burn the effigy,” he added.
“As the film has not been released, a section of society is judgmental about its contents. We are not averse to the agitation or submitting memoranda against the film, but burning of the effigy may hurt sentiments of the dera followers,” he said, demanding the Haryana government to allow screening of the film.
Insan said as political wing of the dera had officially decided to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly elections in which the INLD suffered defeat, the political party was trying to settle its political score.