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As Protests Hit Indu Sarkar, Director Has A Question For Rahul Gandhi

NDTV logo NDTV 16-07-2017 Reported by Anant R Zanane, Edited by Nidhi Sethi

Mumbai: A day after a promotional event in Pune for the upcoming film Indu Sarkar had to be cancelled due to ruckus created by local Congress workers, a repeat of their protests was reported from another city of Maharashtra. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said that he was forced to cancel today's press briefing in Nagpur and asked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi if he approved of the "hooliganism" by the local Congress workers.

In his tweet, the director said, "Dear @OfficeOfRG after Pune I have 2 cancel today's PressCon at Nagpur. Do you approve this hooliganism? Can I have my Freedom of Expression?"

The protests in Nagpur were led by Umakant Agnihotri, a local Congress strongman. After the protests, Mr Agnihotri told NDTV: "Congress workers will not allow Mr Bhandarkar to promote his film anywhere across the country it may assassinate the character of the Party's icon Indira Gandhi."

© AP Photo

Yesterday, local Congress workers barged into a Pune hotel where the filmmaker and the crew were staying and held protests against the movie which is set in the backdrop of the Emergency and has characters inspired by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi.

The filmmaker was supposed to talk about his film, but after constant disruptions, the event had to be called off. Mr Bhandarkar said it was "baffling to see self-proclaimed custodians of freedom of expression creating huge ruckus".

He told NDTV, "This was absolutely shocking... What is the problem if I make a film on Emergency?"

However, Congress' Pawan Khera said the party has "nothing to do" with these protests and questioned if the workers were even from the Congress. "The Congress party absolutely distances itself from these kinds of protests. We criticise it, we condemn it," he told NDTV.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has suggested 12 cuts and two disclaimers in the film. Mr Bhandarkar had been asked to remove words like RSS and Akali from Indu Sarkar.

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