Multiplexes in Mumbai have reopened the advance bookings for Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film My Name is Khan, that was closed earlier fearing attacks by Shiv Sena activists before and during the screening of the movie, which releases on Friday.
The Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra is trying its best to ensure that the Shiv Sena activists do not disrupt the screening of the movie.
Mumbai police on Wednesday detained over 1500 Shiv Sena activists, besides arresting around 59 others and charged them for creating violence and vandalism. The police has also provided special security to movie theatres screening the film.
Applications for leave of all policemen has been cancelled to ensure a full presence. Police personnel from the State Reserve Police Force and the Home Guards will also be deployed at the city's 63 theatres, where the movie will be screened.
Shiv Sena activists had on Tuesday attacked several cinema halls that were supposed to screen Shah Rukh's flick. Sena workers managed to enter the halls and damage screens of the Metro theatre in south Mumbai and the Huma Cinema at Kanjurmarg using sharp instruments. Activists pelted stones and broke the glasses of Mehul cinema in suburban Mulund. They also tore down posters of the movie outside Fame cinema in Pantnagar and R-City Mall at Ghatkopar.
Karan Johar had on Tuesday met Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan and sought police security ahead of the film's release. The representatives of the film's distributor, FOX Searchlight, had also met the top Mumbai cop along with multiplex owners.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ahok Chavan had on Tuesday issued a warning to Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray that his security would be withdrawn if he broke the law.
The Shiv Sena is upset with Khan's statements that Pakistani cricketers should be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) inspite of the 26/11-terror attack.
Image: Workers remove a huge banner of My Name Is Khan from an under construction building as motorcyclists ride past in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters