Puja Talkies is one of three cinemas in Dhanbad that will screen Gangs of Wasseypur from Friday. (Gautam Dey)
A band of protesters on Thursday promised to dissuade local residents from watching Gangs of Wasseypur in Dhanbad, a day before the release of the Anurag Kashyap movie, prompting local police to deploy constables at some theatres.
“We will go to the theatres and request the residents of Dhanbad to not watch the movie, as it has given a bad name to our locality,” social activist Zaved Khan, who formed the Wasseypur Ekta Manch to launch peaceful protests against the movie, told reporters.
He said they had strong objections to some dialogues in the movie. “An actress in the movie is shown abusing somebody, but girls in our locality are very well-behaved,” said Nisar Alam, president of Wasseypur Chamber of Commerce, adding they would continue their legal tussle against the movie.
Parwez Akhtar, a member of the Manch, went further, accusing director Kashyap of misrepresenting a particular community in his movies, including Black Friday in 2004. “Wasseypur has nothing to do with the coal mafia, which is the main subject of the movie. Why is the image of our locality being tarnished?” he asked.
Anticipating trouble during the screening of the movie, DSP (law and order) Sanjay Ranjan Singh said a magistrate and security personnel including women constables would be deputed at each of the three theatres — Puja Talkies, Deshbandhu Cinema and Fame Multiplex — where the movie will be screened.
“We have identified trouble-makers and sent them word to refrain from causing any obstruction during the screening of the movie,” said Singh, adding that if required, the security measures might be in place for as long as the movie runs at the theatres.
“We will not allow any protester near the cinema hall, as it may lead to fights with the audience,” he said.
Theatre owners, on the other hand, sensed the movie will keep cash counters ringing. Ganesh Singh, manager of Puja Talkies, said advance bookings were on for the movie, with over 100 of the 731 seats in the hall reserved over the phone until Thursday morning for the first day, first show.
“As the movie is based on a Dhanbad locality, we expect a big crowd including a few VIPs to turn up,” said Singh, adding the movie would be screened four times daily.
Owner of Deshbandhu Cinema at Jharia Gopal Agarwal said Kashyap had clarified the movie had no objectionable content. “I request the people to first see the movie and then form a view. Protesting against a movie without viewing it has no meaning,” he said.