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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Gujarat anti-Fanaa stir: Man attempts suicide

However, unfazed by the incident theatre authorities have decided to continue with the screening of the film.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 22:03 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Scaling up the protest against Bollywood actor Aamir Khan whose remarks on Narmada dam oustees touched off a controversy, a man torched himself in the 'Amber' cinema hall in Jamnagar, the only one in the state screening the star's latest movie Fanaa.

Police identified the man as Pravin Joshi (30) who received around 70 per cent burns and was undergoing treatment.

"Joshi said that he immolated himself for 'the cause of Narmada' and make people of Gujarat aware about the enemies of the dam project on the river," Jamnagar police said after taking the man's statement.

However, unfazed by the incident theatre authorities have decided to continue with the screening of the film.

Amber cinema manager Mansur Sheikh said there was adequate security in and around the theatre premises and that it will be tightened further to prevent such incidents.

Police said the initial statement of Joshi said he hails from Porbandar. At present, he is working in a private firm in Rajkot.

Joshi told the police that he was disturbed by the screening of Fanaa in a theatre in Jamnagar and decided to do something to 'wake up' people of Gujarat.

Joshi said he was not affiliated to any political party or any social organisation.

"He came to Jamnagar from Rajkot and entered the cinema hall with kerosene and match box. He went inside the bathroom of the cinema at around 5.30 pm, poured kerosene and torched himself", an investigating official said.

He is being treated for 70 per cent burns in the Guru Govind Singh hospital, police said.

The movie starring Aamir Khan was opposed in Gujarat even before it was released on May 26 and there have been numerous demonstrations against it led by BJP's youth activists.

Activists also disrupted a private screening of the movie on Saturday night at the Surat Tennis club and damaged the premises where it was being shown.

Apart from the political brickbats Fanaa has received, even the Multiplex Owners Association have been against showing the movie till the actor 'apologise' for taking a stand in the Narmada Dam matter that was against the 'interest' of the people of Gujarat.

However, irrespective of repeat televised assurances of Khan that he was not against the building of the dam and that people of Gujarat would benefit from it, the multiplex owners association has not softened its stand.

Khan got some support from director Mahesh Bhatt who filed a petition in the Supreme Court, urging the screening of the movie be allowed in Gujarat. Though the petition was set aside, the Supreme Court did say that the movie could be screened with police security.

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 22:03 IST