Congmen storm Kolkata multiplex, tear screen, stop film on ex-PM

KOLKATA: A group of Bengal Congress activists on Friday interrupted the screening of ‘The Accidental Prime Minister‘ and resorted to vandalism at the Inox Quest multiplex on Friday evening.

Earlier in the day, they had protested in front of another multiplex, Inox Hind, in central Kolkata and forced it to cancel the screening of the film.

Around 8.40pm on Friday, the protesters carrying Congress flags managed to enter auditorium III of the multiplex at Quest Mall. They shouted slogans and demanded that the screening be stopped. Some of them tore the screen and threatened the movie-goers. The agitators left the auditorium when the screening was stopped.

State Congress president Somen Mitra, who disapproved of the incidents, said the party has been supporting freedom of expression although they may not agree with the content of a particular movie.

Screenings stopped at 2 theatres in Kolkata

A full-house of cine-goers was watching the movie at auditorium III of the multiplex at Quest Mall when around 8.40pm, around 30 agitators broke into the hall in the guise of viewers and started shouting slogans. Congress leader Rakesh Singh, who is implicated by police in several criminal cases, and 30 of his supporters demanded that the screening be stopped and some of them tore the screen. This disrupted the show for around 30 minutes. The mall authorities then fixed the screen and resumed the show later.

It started since Friday morning when Congress supporters, carrying Youth Congress and Congress flags, started gathering in front of Inox Hind. They took out a rally to Wellington crossing and started agitating in front of the theatre before the show started. The agitators burnt an effigy of PMNarendra Modi, shouted slogans and demanded that the screening be stopped. They were stopped by police near the entry gate.
Pradesh Congress president Somen Mitra, who disapproved of such an incident, said the party has been supporting freedom of expression although they may not agree with the content of the movie. “Our fight in the state and at the Centre have been against efforts to curtail freedom of speech. Congress did not take part in any such agitation,” he said.
“There was a small rally but Youth Congress has no links to it. They were opposing the way Congress leaders like Sonia Gandhi and others have been portrayed in the movie,” said Shadab Khan, newly elected state president of Youth Congress.
Another group of Congress supporters allegedly tried to stop the film’s screening at Indira cinema. “Primarily, they demanded that the screening be stopped and posters removed. We sought police help and there was no trouble during the screening,” said Biswajit Pal, manager of Indira Cinema. In the evening, Youth Congress supporters allegedly agitated in front of Biswadip cinema in Siliguri and stopped its screening.