EXCLUSIVE: Gujarat Government assures a police protection for Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in the state

Vandan Shah from Cinema Owners Association confirms, "The Government offiicals have promised police protection at the cinema halls if need be to ensure a smooth release for Pathaan."

Himesh Mankad
Written by Himesh Mankad , Journalist
Updated on Jan 18, 2023 | 05:09 PM IST | 366.9K
 EXCLUSIVE: Gujarat Government promises a police protection for Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in the state
EXCLUSIVE: Gujarat Government promises a police protection for Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in the state

Shah Rukh Khan is all set to return to the big screen after 4 long years with the much-awaited Siddharth Anand directed Pathaan. The film is among the most hyped films of Bollywood and is expected to set the box office on fire upon its release on January 25. Over the last few months, the film ran into some controversy, with certain section of society making boycott and ban calls on the film. Cinema halls in Gujarat had received letters from Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal warning them to not screen Pathaan at their properties. Some of the cinema halls were also damaged amid the protests done by the outfits.The Yash Raj Films production also features Deepika Padukone and John Abraham in lead.

Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan to get Police Protection in Gujarat

Seeing the reactions of VHP and Bajrang Dal, the Multiplex Association of Gujarat, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Bhupendra Bhai Patel and Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi regarding security arrangement at cinema halls before the release of Pathaan. And now, Pinkvilla has exclusively learnt that the Gujarat Government has come in support of Pathaan and promised a police protection for the film release during the Republic Day weekend. Vandan Shah, the Secretary of Cinema Owner Association, Gujarat, confirmed the development to Pinkvilla saying, “It was a great meeting with the Government officials. He has promised police protection at the cinema halls if required to ensure a smooth release for Pathaan on January 25.” We hear, the respected Home Minister of Gujarat has also sent a letter to all police stations and commissioner of state asking them to provide protection to cinema halls in the release week of Pathaan.

For those unaware, Gujarat VHP spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput in the past had said, "Pathaan's screening will not be permitted in Gujarat. The protest against the film's release in Ahmedabad today should serve as a wake-up call to all theatre owners in the state. They must refrain from releasing the film in their theatres or multiplexes." In reaction to such comments, the Cinema Associations of the state had reached out to the Government for their support. In a letter addressed to Chief Minister and Home Minister, the cinema owners seeked for official intervention. The experts from the letter read, “There are many groups that are illegally targeting cinema exhibitors based on their own understanding and agendas by unlawfully threatening cinema exhibitors with dire consequences in terms of safety and security of their property, staff and movie-goers if certain movies are released. So, we request all kinds of support from your end regarding protecting (of) our properties and business interest.”

Back in 2010, Shah Rukh Khan's My Name Is Khan had also released amid Police Protection in Mumbai after getting threats from several organisations in Maharashtra. The history has repeated itself with Pathaan in 2023, however, this time around in Gujarat.

The YRF Spy Universe

Pathaan is touted to be one of India’s biggest action spectacles to date and is a part of Aditya Chopra's ambitious spy universe, which kicked off with Ek Tha Tiger in 2012 followed by Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and War (2019). Being the fourth film of the universe, it also marks the inception point for the crossover of characters from one film to the other, which eventually leads to a big-ticket multi-starrer finale.Salman Khan has an extended cameo in Pathaan, in his avatar of iconic spy, Tiger aka. Avinash Singh Rathore. The spy universe then continues with the release of Tiger 3 starring Salman with Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi during the Diwali 2023 weekend. The film will see an extended appearance from Shah Rukh Khan as Pathaan.

The advance bookings for Pathaan will open on January 20, 2023, leading to the film’s release on January 25. Stay tuned to Pinkvilla for more updates.

ALSO READ: Shah Rukh Khan reveals unheard facts about him and more ahead of Pathaan release; 5 things to know

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