Tension erupted during the screening of The Kashmir Files inside a theatre in Kolkata when a bunch of Muslim men entered the auditorium in the middle of the show and attacked a section of the largely Hindu audience. The incident at Navina Cinema Hall in Kolkata on Wednesday disrupted the screening, which was stopped until the Hindus resisted and overpowered the Muslims.
The staff of the Navina theatre said some Muslims protested inside the hall during the screening of The Kashmir Files. Police said they raised slogans saying the plot of the film was based on falsehood. This led to quarrel and fisticuffs between the members of the two communities. The staff of the theatre stopped the film for 15 min.
The vandals were then expelled from the theatre. The film resumed.
According to police sources, the incident took place during a night show at Navina Cinema Hall on Prince Anwar Shah Road on 16 March when three young men sitting in the front row suddenly started protesting and chanting slogans.
The Muslims protested inside the hall against the screenplay. Other spectators in the back row protested. This led to quarrels and minor skirmishes between the two sides.
The Navina staff say they, with the help of a section of the audience, pushed the miscreants out of the hall. The three Muslim youth were drunk, some viewers said.
The audience was visibly upset as the crowd emerged from the theatre after the show. “No one could have anticipated this disruption during the movie. At first, most viewers could not figure what was going on. We did realise some people had begun shouting and that the show had been stopped as a result. We waited until the situation became normal again,” said Sandip Dey, a viewer.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday urged her followers not to watch the movie.
The Kashmir Files has become the talk of the nation. The film is based on the cleansing of Hindus of Kashmir by local Muslims and terrorists. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, among several BJP leaders, have endorsed the movie. Different BJP-ruled states have declared the movie tax-free. RSS swayamsevaks are mobilising people to watch the already hit movie.
Kashmiri Pandits are seen breaking down during the screening. Quite a few videos have surfaced showing elderly and young women falling at the feet of director Vivek Agnihotri after a special screening was organised for the minority community of the valley in New Delhi and a few cities of the United States.
Hindus across the nation are praising Agnihotri for showing the courage to depict the truth of Islamic violence of the period 1989-92 for the first time in a film. They say previous attempts such as Mission Kashmir was a joke while Shikara was downright mythical.