Chandigarh: “Udta Punjab”, a drug-themed Bollywood film that was embroiled in a censorship row and multiple legal battles, was released across the country on Friday as scheduled without any incident being reported barring protests by Shiv Sena activists in Ludhiana.
Police took 30 activists of Shiv Sena (Hindustan) into preventive custody in Ludhiana after they tried to create ruckus when the movie screening was going on in a multiplex there even as tight security arrangements were put in place at various places across Punjab. They were later released.
The Police said that security at cinema halls and multiplexes, especially in prominent shopping malls at various cities including Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, was beefed up.
In Ludhiana, Shiv Sena (Hindustan) leader Rajiv Tandon demanded that the film should be banned because it was defaming Punjab.
The activists of the outfit tried to forcibly enter Goverdan Mall where the Abhishek Chaubey-directed film was being screened. Police, however,prevented their entry. No other untoward incident has been reported.
The film starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh that delves into how a large number of youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs had also triggered a political slugfest. The film was cleared by the courts with some directions like cutting one scene after its producers and the Censor Board were locked in a bitter row.
The movie was said to have been released to favourable reviews and also received a thumbs up from the Hindi film industry with stars like Katrina Kaif, Pooja Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt praising the movie’s gritty content and outstanding acting.
“I thought it was a really outstanding film. Both Shahid and Alia have done an unbelievable job. Alia’s performance is absolutely brilliant in the film. I think it is a beautiful movie,” Katrina said.