Punjab govt bans screening of Dera chief’s ‘MSG’


Chandigarh, Jan 17: Dera Saccha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim starrer ‘Messenger of God’ which has been under a cloud of controversies in the last week has been banned in Punjab.

Punjab Government today decided to put a ban on the screening of the controversial movie ‘Messenger of God (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 PTI here.

“The action has been taken following reports of tension after the trailers of the movie became public,” he said.

Bains said the screening of the movie has been stopped following reports of apprehension of breach of peace. “The action was also necessitated following Intelligence inputs about breach of peace in case the movie was allowed to be screened in the state,” he added.

High alerts have been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after protests were staged in Haryana and Delhi against the proposed release of the movie on Sunday.
Yesterday, Shiromani Akali Dal, Indian National Lok Dal and 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. The controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, on whom the movie is based, had yesterday claimed at a press conference in Gurgaon in Haryana that the film does not target any religious section.

“I have clearly said that I am just human. The acts portrayed in the movie are simply stunts,” he had said, in an apparent rejection of criticism from Sikh groups that he was portraying himself as God and Sikh Guru.

In 2007, clashes had erupted between Sikhs and Dera followers in Bathinda following an advertisement in which Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly appeared dressed like Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last guru of Sikhs.

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