In­dia ar­rests 20 for an­them dis­re­spect

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Around 20 peo­ple have been ar­rested in In­dia, ac­cused of fail­ing to stand for the na­tional an­them in cin­e­mas, po­lice said yes­ter­day, two weeks af­ter the coun­try’s top court made it com­pul­sory. The Supreme Court ruled on Novem­ber 30 that cin­e­mas should play the na­tional an­them be­fore ev­ery screen­ing, and that the au­di­ence should stand, draw­ing an­gry ac­cu­sa­tions of an as­sault on civil lib­er­ties.

“All the cin­ema halls in In­dia shall play the na­tional an­them be­fore the fea­ture film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show re­spect to the na­tional an­them,” the judges said. Twelve peo­ple were ar­rested on Mon­day at an in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­val in the south­ern state of Ker­ala for fail­ing to ob­serve the or­der, po­lice said. They said the film-go­ers, who have not been iden­ti­fied, had re­fused to stand af­ter be­ing asked to do so by or­ga­niz­ers and po­lice. “They were for­mally ar­rested and later re­leased on bail,” said Spar­jan Ku­mar, po­lice chief of Ker­ala state cap­i­tal Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram.

Ku­mar said six of the 12 had been as­saulted af­ter re­fus­ing to stand, but that no charges would be brought against the at­tack­ers. “We are yet to re­ceive a com­plaint over the as­sault. There is no in­ves­ti­ga­tion in (that) in­ci­dent,” he told AFP by phone. An­other eight peo­ple were ar­rested on Sun­day at a cin­ema in the south­ern city of Chen­nai af­ter be­ing as­saulted by a group of 20 men dur­ing the in­ter­val for al­legedly re­fus­ing to stand. They were re­port­edly charged un­der the Pre­ven­tion of In­sults to Na­tional Honor Act and face up to three years in jail if found guilty.

The Supreme Court did not spec­ify a penalty for fail­ure to stand. Ku­mar said the 12 cin­ema­go­ers ar­rested in his state had been charged with var­i­ous re­lated of­fences, in­clud­ing con­tempt of court. Be­fore the lat­est or­der, the play­ing of the na­tional an­them was only com­pul­sory in the western state of Ma­ha­rash­tra-home to the Bol­ly­wood film in­dus­try-and stand­ing was op­tional.

There were how­ever a num­ber of re­ports of cin­ema­go­ers be­ing at­tacked for fail­ing to stand, even be­fore the court gave its rul­ing. In Oc­to­ber, a wheel­chair-user was as­saulted in a Mum­bai cin­ema by fel­low mem­bers of the au­di­ence who ap­par­ently failed to re­al­ize he was dis­abled. — AFP

JAMMU: In­dian movie go­ers stand up as na­tional an­them is played at a movie hall be­fore the screen­ing of a movie in Jammu yes­ter­day. A rul­ing by In­dia’s Supreme Court last month said that the an­them must be played be­fore ev­ery film screen­ing in the coun­try and that au­di­ences must stand. The court said the rule was aimed at in­still­ing a sense of pa­tri­o­tism. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.