The Town police on Thursday arrested three youths in connection with rioting and attack on a civil police officer after the cancellation of a movie at a cinema here on Wednesday night.
Those arrested were Jamsheer and Faijas, hailing from Payyanakkal, and Mahesh from Panniyankkara. They were charged under Sections 143, (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons), and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty) of the Indian Penal Code and also under Sections of the Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act.
The accused were produced before the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate’s Court and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
The police have launched a search for more people involved in the incident. At least seven were taken into custody. But four of them were let off as investigators found no evidence against them, T.K. Ashraf, Circle Inspector, Town Station, said.
Technical glitches in the satellite-based screening of the newly released Nivin Pauly-starrer Premam during the half time of the late-night screening at Apsara Theatre led to a section of viewers going berserk inside the cinema at 11 p.m. on Wednesday. They destroyed chairs, screen, and lighting, and also smashed the windowpanes, an employee said.
The police had to resort to a lathicharge to disperse the angry mob. But the gangs reassembled and threw stones at the police and the theatre. The commotion spread to Railway Station Link Road and lasted for nearly an hour.
A civil police officer attached to the flying squad was injured in the attack. A few who managed to jump out of the window of the hall also sustained injuries.
The trouble started at around 10.35 p.m. when the viewers returned to their seats after the interval. But there was no screening for more than half an hour.
The management had no public address system to make an announcement.
Later a clarification from an employee that the viewers would either be given another chance to watch the film or the ticket refunded the next day fell on deaf ears.
Many demanded immediate refund. Thursday’s morning show was cancelled to take up repairs, an employee said.