Calcutta High Court
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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court has given a go-ahead for the release of Danga The Riot ~ a Bengali movie themed on the Great Calcutta Killings of 1946 and BJP founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s efforts at saving Bengal.

Justice Shampa Sarkar, a vacation judge at the Calcutta HC, passed the ruling, albeit with a rider. The movie cannot be screened in Uluberia sub-division in Howrah as the SDO there has issued an order barring the screening of the film on the apprehension that it might lead to a law and order situation.

The movie directed by Milan Bhowmik and starring Gajendra Chauhan in the role of Syama Prasad Mookerjee was to release in Bengal on 27 April. However, on the eve of the release, owners of some 30 cinema halls in north Bengal told that they cannot screen the movie due to alleged pressure from the police.

This made the director move the Calcutta HC. During a hearing in the court of justice Topobrata Chakraborty on 3 May, the petitioner produced video recordings of warning by police for not screening the movie. But the judge dismissed the petition saying that the cinema hall owners should have come to court and not the director.

Following this, the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) ~ the umbrella organisation of cine technicians, producers, and directors ~ took up the matter. EIMPA challenged the ruling in the vacation bench of Calcutta High Court.

During the hearing on Wednesday, its counsel pleaded that there is nothing in the movie that can have a negative impact on viewers or incite them to resort to violence. The government pleader countered this by saying that the Uluberia SDO is apprehensive of violence if the movie is shown there and hence he has issued an order banning its screening.

On hearing the arguments, justice Sarkar ordered that the movie can be released elsewhere in Bengal but Uluberia.

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