The Andhra Pradesh High Court Thursday directed the police to provide security for the smooth release and screening of Hindi film “Zanjeer” and its Telugu version “Toofan” starring actor Ram Charan Teja, son of Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi.
The court asked the director general of police to provide necessary security to theatres screening the two movies throughout the state from Friday.
“Zanjeer” and “Toofan”, starring Ram Charan and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles, are set to be released across the state, currently witnessing political turmoil over the decision to carve out separate Telangana state.
Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd had moved the court seeking directions to the government to take steps for smooth screening of the two films in view of threats from some quarters.
The petitioner feared obstacles to the screening of the movies in the wake of these threats.
Reliance entertainment informed the court that it has invested several crores of rupees to produce, market and distribute the movies. The company said it had already signed contracts with several theatres for screening the films.
A theatre owner said, “We are forced to shut down business and support the ongoing movement. Most theatres here are yet to take a call on whether to screen the film or not. Having just a few policemen on patrol in the theatre premises will not make much of a difference. While most theatres in Hyderabad have started bookings for ‘Zanjeer’, others in other parts of the state are yet to open.”
M Vijayendar Prasad, the president of Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce addressed,”The region wise distributors are to decide whether to exhibit the film or not. Following the state’s bifurcation, we fear the film might face problems both in Telangana and Seemandhra. We have to wait till evening to have more clarity on this issue.”
Some groups in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) have threatened to disrupt screening of the movies to protest what they call Chiranjeevi’s failure to oppose strongly the proposed bifurcation of the state.
The movies may also face problems in Telangana, where some groups alleged that Chiranjeevi was trying to stall the formation of a separate state.
In the past, films of Chiranjeevi, his brother Pawan Kalyan and Ram Charan have had to face the ire of pro-Telangana groups.