The release of SS Rajamouli's Baahubali 2-The Conclusion has run into enough trouble in the state of Karnataka, with pro-Kannada groups even trying to stall its release last week. But even as makers of the film managed to successfully release the film in the state, 10 bikes went up in flames and tempers flared over the screening of the film.
On Saturday, 20-year-old Santhosh from Karnataka's Hoskote walked into Alankar Theatre in the afternoon, with two cans of petrol in hand. He went straight into the parking lot, emptied his cans of petrol and set 10 motorbikes on fire.
According to the police, Santhosh was upset over the theatre screening Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, instead of a Kannada movie.
Hoskote Police Inspector Ashwant Narayan told The News Minute that Santhosh, who works at a medical store, had caused damage to 10 motorbikes, which were completely gutted.
"He just randomly walked in to the compound and poured petrol over the bikes. It is only after he had managed to set fire to all the 10 bikes parked there, that the security guard noticed it and rushed to stop him. However, Santhosh got into an argument with the security guard, accusing the theatre of screening a Telugu movie instead of a Kannada film," the inspector said.
Soon, the police were called in and the fire was doused. After being arrested from the spot, he was produced before a magistrate court. Santhosh has now been sent to judicial custody, the police said.
While some media reports stated that Santhosh was mentally unstable, the inspector refuted the reports and said that Santhosh had torched the bikes in a fit of rage.
Ahead of its release, the film had run into trouble in Karnataka, after some pro-Kannada groups accusing actor Satyaraj, who plays Kattappa in the film, of making insulting remarks about Kannadigas during the Cauvery dispute nine years ago. Vowing by his Kannadiga pride, Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha chief Vatal Nagaraj had even called for a bandh on April 28, which was later called off after the actor issued a clarification. Several groups, including Sa Ra Govindu, the President of the KFCC and the Dr Rajkumar Fans Association, had extended support for the protests called by Vatal Nagaraj.