Sikh groups protest against release of controversial film

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Chandigarh, April 13 (IANS) Sikh groups held protests at various places in Punjab and Haryana as the controversial film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ released across the country except Punjab on Friday.

The Sikhs are protesting against the film, based on the life and teachings of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, saying that the Guru cannot be shown in human form.

Two trains were stopped by the Sikh protesters near Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab and Ambala in Haryana. However, the trains were allowed to go within 30 minutes following intervention of the railway police.

Security was tightened around cinema halls and multiplexes in Haryana but most owners opted not to screen the film on Friday.

In Punjab, no theatre is showing the movie following the recent ban on its screening announced by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion.

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The film was not being shown in Chandigarh also.

Punjab has a Sikh majority population while Haryana and Chandigarh also have significant Sikh population.

Akal Takht jathedar (chief) Gurbachan Singh on Thursday excommunicated the film producer, Harinder Singh Sikka, from the Sikh community.

The protests remained peaceful in both states, police said.

The Punjab government has maintained that it will not intervene with the release of the film after the Supreme Court recently refused to stay the film’s release.

–IANS

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