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Punjab bans screening of ‘Messenger of God’

“The screening of this movie has been banned on the advisory of the Government of India (GoI)”, Badal said at Muktsar.

Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Sangat Darshan programme of Lambi Assembly segment in Muktsar district, the Chief Minister said that the reports of intelligence agencies of both the State and Central governments had clearly said that the release of this movie could have led to serious repercussions in terms of law and order problem in the state.

Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to maintain peace and amity, he said that it was their onerous duty to sustain the hard earned peace in Punjab at every cost.

“We have received advisory from the Central government to ban this movie and thus the state government acted accordingly in the larger public interest,” added Badal.

The Punjab Government on Jan 17 had put a ban on the MSG featuring Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, in apprehension of breach of peace.

“The Punjab Government has decided to stop screening of the movie ‘Messenger of God (MSG)’ in the state,” Harcharan Bains, Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister, told a news agency here.

High alerts have been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after protests were staged against the proposed release of the movie on Sunday. On Sunday, political parties like SAD and INLD, and several Sikh outfits had taken to the streets in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi protesting against the controversial film.

Similar protests were held at Haryana’s Hissar and Sirsa, the headquarters of the Dera chief who has been at loggerheads with the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. The film, which was expected to hit theatres on Friday last, had been referred by the Censor Board to FCAT for clearance on January 12. FCAT has cleared it for screening.

Controversy over the clearance deepened after the resignation of its Chairperson Leela Samson and several other members.

Tension in pockets of Haryana’s Sirsa district; Section 144 imposed 

Tension gripped Sirsa where authorities have imposed prohibitory orders in view of protests against the controversial film 'Messenger of God (MSG)', featuring Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh. "We have imposed Section 144 (banning assembly of five or more people in an area) at a few places in Sirsa, including near a Sikh shrine, "Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Nikhil Gajraj said.

Assembly of people has been banned at few places in Sirsa to maintain law and order in the wake of protests by Sikh organisations against the film.

Meanwhile, certain Sikhs gathered at a Gurudwara on city police station road to register their protest against the film.
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