Theatres and multiplexes here initially decided not to open advance bookings for the Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name is Khan on Wednesday despite security being provided by the city police. Later, some theatres opened bookings.
It is possible to release the film on Friday on current booking if a decision to that effect is taken by managements of each cinema hall, they said. But no such decision had been taken till evening.
Assistant Manager of E-Sqaure multiplex Pramod More told The Hindu, “Advance bookings for a new film usually begin on Wednesday. However, we got a letter from the Shiv Sena last week requesting us not to screen the film. It was decided last [Tuesday] night not to open advance bookings for the film.” He added that the police had provided two policemen at every theatre and multiplex in the city.
Shiv Sena workers broke illuminated glass cases with posters of the film on display at bus stops and other places.
Sena stands firm
“Theatre owners have told us that they will not show the film,” said Nana Wadekar, president of Shiv Sena’s city unit. “Despite this assurance, the Shiv Sena is ready to go to any level to stop any theatre from showing the film.” He said that while no Sena worker was taken into custody, about 100 had been served notice by the police stating that action would be taken against them if they were found disturbing the law and order situation.
Two Sena MLAs in Pune decided to return the security provided by the government. “There were no orders from the party leadership to return our security,” said Hadapsar MLA Mahadeo Babar. “However, I read in Saamna [the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece] this morning that [Maharashtra] Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had spoken about removing the cover of [Sena executive president] Uddhav Thackeray. If our leader is not going to have security, there is no question of our retaining it.”
Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Mokate said, “Our party workers will provide us security.” Asked what he would do if he needed security after the issue was settled, he said, “We will think about that later.”