Pro Kannada groups protest outside theatres showing ‘Kaala’, stop screening

New Delhi: Widespread protests by pro-Kannada activists spoiled the screening Kaala in most parts of Karnataka on Thursday.

The cinema halls which were to screen the film, refused to show it, leaving cinema goers, especially fans of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth disappointed. Demonstrations were held in front of all the theatres in the city where the film was to be screened.

Agitators requested the 67-year-old actor’s fans not to watch the movie for the sake of their Kannada brethren fighting for Cauvery water. They also asked them to come together to show solidarity to the farmers who have been deprived of Cauvery river water.

Reports from Mysuru said the screening of the film was delayed by movie houses due to protests. However, only two theatres in Ballari and Raichur districts decided to screen the movie.

Praveen Shetty, an office bearer of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) said they were going from theatre to theatre asking moviegoers to boycott the film. “We are telling them that the issue of sharing Cauvery water is more important than the film,” he said to PTI.

Miffed with Rajinikanth’s reported comments that whichever government came to power in Karnataka should implement the Supreme Court order on Cauvery water sharing in toto, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce on May 29 decided not to allow screening of Kaala.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had on Wednesday requested the distributor of Kaala not to release it in “this kind of atmosphere,” but said his government would follow the high court order on the issue.

The Karnataka high court on June 5 directed the state government to provide necessary security for the peaceful release of Kaala. Rajinikanth, made an attempt to reach out to pro-Kannada outfits opposed to the release, insisting he had done “no wrong” and requested them not to thwart its screening.

Barring the state, the film released worldwide on Thursday amid much all controversies and fan-celebrations.

(With inputs from PTI)