Protests have erupted in parts of Punjab as cinemas abstained from screening controversial godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s second film “MSG-2: The Messenger” on the second day of its release.
The godman’s followers have accused the Punjab government of playing a “double game”, saying while no official ban was imposed on the film in the state, the district administrations had been asked to press cinema owners not to screen it.
On Saturday, hundreds of followers of the godman, who heads the Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana’s Sirsa district, blocked the Bathinda-Malout road near Gidderbaha in Muktsar district.
A large number of protesters also held a protest demonstration and blocked traffic on the Moga-Barnala road in Moga district. Protesters also blocked a railway track in the district’s Bhugipura village.
Rail service affected
At least 13 trains, including eight between Ludhiana and Ferozepur have been cancelled due to the protests in Moga and Amritsar, affecting thousands of travellers.
One train, which left Ludhiana for Ferozepur is stuck at Ajitwal village, 16 km from Moga, since 5am. Another train, which was scheduled to arrive from Ferozepur at 5.30 am, is halted at Moga.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Bathinda district where the godman’s followers held protest demonstrations on Friday evening.
Barricades have been placed at all entry and exit points of major towns.
In January this year, the Punjab government had formally banned the screening of the dera head’s first film “MSG: The Messenger of God” after opposition by Sikh groups.