Even after home minister assured protection, theatre owners are still unwilling to screen the movie

Dilwale controversy Bengaluru protests in solidarity with Mangaluru against right-wing extremism
news Dilwale Friday, December 25, 2015 - 18:16

Frustrated with the apathy of the Karnataka government and Dakshina Kannada district police towards the increasing interference of right-wing activist in to everyday activities of people, a group of progressive writers protested demanding immediate action from police and government on Friday evening in Bengaluru.

This protest has been planned in solidarity with social activist Vidya Dinker, who received open death and rape threats online from Bajrang Dal and other right-wing activists following her complaint against stalling of Shah Rukh starrer Dilwale by Hindu activists.

Read more: Dilwale: Mangaluru-based activist faces online abuse, rape threats, for complaining against Bajrang Dal

About 22 people, who are linked to right-wing groups, were booked under sections of IPC including wanton vilification or attacks on Thursday.

Dinker told The News Minute that her mobility has been arrested and is being cautious while stepping out. However, she turned down the offer of police protection after her complaint on death threats.

Home minister Parameshwara on Friday morning assured security and protection from Hindu groups for theatre goers in the district.

However, Balakrishna, who is the director of Big Cinemas in Mangaluru, told The News Minute that they would not resume screening unless other multiplexes do.

“I am worried about the future of my theatre. On Sunday, a group of right-wing activists only came up to the theatre in-charge person and asked them to stop. But we are intimidated as tomorrow they could be violent,” he said.

Asked why they would not trust in police even after home minister’s assurance of safety, Balakrishna said that even then there police action in case of attack would still be uncertain.

"The mindset of the Hindu activists must change," he added.

While Dinker’s case is the most recent one, Coastal Karnataka region has been facing threats from right-wing activist for many years now, says Dayananda TK, a Kannada writer who is participating in the protest.

“’An idle person is often referred to as eating puffed rice’ is a translation of a famous Kannada saying and this is exactly what the government and the police are doing. The conventional congregation of people at the protest ground is not going to work. So we have decided to send bags of puffed rice to these people,” Dayananda said.

Dayananda said that police is hand in hand with the right-wing activists was proven by Cobra Post’s sting operation.

 “Yet government has not come forward to counter this situation even as so many cases of moral policing happen, many people have even been attacked and murdered by communal goons in the last couple of months,” he added.

He said that there many people like Bhuvith Shetty, who issued death threats to  Kannada writer Bhagwan and was later arrested for killing a man named Harish while riding back home along with a Muslim friend.

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