The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike landed up at the theatre and began protesting the attack on Kannada speakers.

Fight outside Mersal in Bluru Pro-Kannada outfit calls for ban on Tamil movies
news Protest Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 12:54

Tamil actor Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s fans reportedly clashed with pro-Kannada activists outside a film theatre in Bengaluru’s RT Nagar on Wednesday.

According to the RT Nagar police, the fight started after the actor’s fans allegedly attacked a local for staring at Vijay's cutouts erected outside the Sri Radhakrishna Theatre, where his film Mersal was being screened.

“One man was looking at Vijay’s cutout, when a few of his fans began abusing the local and questioned him as to why he was staring at the cutout. A verbal argument ensued between the youth and Vijay’s fans. They assaulted him, put him on the ground and kicked him,” Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) member Praveen Shetty said.

The youth then approached Praveen Shetty and claimed that he was assaulted by Vijay’s ‘Tamil speaking fans.’

Praveen Shetty’s faction of the KVR then landed up at Radhakrishna Theatre and began protesting the attack on ‘Kannada speakers’.

“It was a Tamil film and they are screening it in Karnataka. What was the need to assault the youth just because he was looking at the cutout? We lodged a protest and demanded that the movie screening be stopped immediately. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike workers were present in huge numbers and the protest began at 11 am,” Shetty added.

Soon after the protest began, the Vedike’s members tore the Mersal movie poster and demanded that the screening be stopped and the people watching the movie be made to leave.

“We had a lengthy discussion with the theatre owner. We refused to budge and demanded that the screening be stopped. At around 4 pm, the theatre owner agreed to stop screening the film. All the people in the theatre were asked to leave,” Shetty said.

The Vedike is now planning to launch a state-wide protest, demanding a ban on screening of Tamil films in the state.

“It was not just one theatre in Bengaluru where the screening was stopped. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike workers staged protests across the state and the screening of the film was stopped in several theatres in Karnataka. We are planning to discuss this issue with other pro-Kannada organisations and launch a state-wide protest, calling for the ban on Tamil films,” he said.

Refuting his claims, Ganesh Chetan, member of Kannada Grahakara Koota – a pro-Kannada outfit, said that the organisation will not take part in any such protest.

“What is the meaning of this? What will they accomplish by protesting? The government should intervene and put a stop to such incidents and not allow it to happen. A fight got out of hand and these people (Praveen Shetty-led KRV) are saying it is an insult to Kannadigas. Our organisation will not get involved in any of these protests calling for the ban on Tamil films. Let them do whatever they want,” he added.

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