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‘Kedarnath’ controversy: Sara Ali Khan – Sushant Singh Rajput starrer banned in 7 districts of Uttarakhand 

Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Kedarnath‘, starring debutante Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput, has been banned in seven districts of Uttarakhand, as per ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar. District Magistrate Nainital Vinod Kr Suman announced the ban on Friday in Haridwar, Dehradun and Udham Singh Nagar district.

“Our committee has forwarded our advice to CM and decided that law and order should be reviewed. We asked District Magistrates to maintain peace and everyone has decided that Kedarnath movie should be banned. The movie is banned everywhere in state,” Satpal Maharaj, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister confirmed the news to ANI. 

The decision has come a day after the Uttarakhand government decided not to impose any prohibition in the state. A four-member committee led by Satpal Maharaj was constituted on Wednesday to proble complaints related to the movie.  

Earlier, Ajendra Ajay, a state BJP leader demanded that the film should be banned. While tweeting his discontent, he said that protests had begun in Rudraprayag and Kotdwar. Ajay said, “The movie appears to be an effort to promote love jihad. Couldn’t the director find a single Hindu name or character for the main lead? Also, kissing and romantic scenes in a holy place worshipped by crores of people is a sign of disrespect to the religion.”

 

Ajay objected to the film’s poster that “shows the hero, a Muslim carrying the heroine, a Hindu”, in a palanquin with the Kedarnath shrine in the background. ‘Kedarnath’ has been at the centre of political controversies since the teaser of the movie was released almost two months back.

Priests from the shrine-town have been wildly protesting against the film, saying that it is a case of “love-jihad”, as the two lead characters are Hindu and Muslim, who fall in love. In November, The chairman of the Kedarnath priests, Vinod Shukla said in a statement, “We will launch an agitation if the movie is not banned as we have been told that it hurts the Hindu religious sentiments by promoting ‘love jihad'(an alleged campaign under which Muslim men target the non-Muslim women for conversion to Islam).”

The chairman added that the priests were also protesting against the film as there “vulgar dance sequences” being shot around the shrine. Incidentally, locals are also against the release.

Meanwhile, The Bombay High Court, dismissed a plea filed against the Abhishek Kapoor directorial, on Wednesday. The petition, filed by lawyers Ramesh Chandra Mishra and Prabhakar Tripathi, sought to reassess the flick by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on grounds that “it hurts religious sentiments and promotes love-jihad”.

The petition claimed that “The love story between a Hindu girl (played by Sara) and a Muslim boy (played by Sushant) will create a drastic situation and will promote love-jihad.” The plea also stated that shooting a love scene at a place like Kedarnath, which is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus, hurts their religious sentiments.

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