Telangana tussle holds up Zanjeer remake's release in AP

Ram Charan Teja's Toofan ( Telegu version of Charan's Bollywood debut- Zanjeer) gets caught in the Telangana agitation on its release, despite of the Andhra Pradesh High Court coming to its aid.

dinesh-akula

Dinesh Akula | September 6, 2013



Despite the Andhra Pradesh High Court coming to its rescue, Ram Charan Teja’s Toofan was caught in the bifurcation storm on its release today. The screening of the Telugu version of Charan’s Bollywood debut Zanjeer was stalled in more than 15 towns and cities including state capital Hyderabad. Zanjeer and Toofan were released worldwide this morning.

Ironically, Toofan bore the brunt of both pro-Andhra Pradesh crusaders and the Telangana agitators in the two regions. Protesters in Seemandhra have targeted the film to exert pressure on Charan’s father and Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi to quit from his post and join their movement. On the flipside, the Telangana forces have threatened to disrupt the films of both Chiranjeevi and Hairkrishna families because of their pro-Samaikhyandhra political stand.

Despite the AP High Court directing the police to provide security to theatres screening the film, the agitators had their way at many places.

Telangana agitators and mega family fans clashed fiercely at Srilakshmi and Ganesh theatres in Shamshabad of Hyderabad this morning. Trouble broke out when the Telangana forces tried to stall the screening of Toofan. They were soon resisted by the fans leading to a heated altercation.

But before the situation could turn worse, the police intervened and pacified both the sides. The fans relented when the police ensured the refund of money to all valid ticket-holders.

In Rajahmundry, protesters stormed Rambha and Surya theatres and disrupted the screening. They demanded the forthwith resignation of Chiranjeevi.

Protesters barged into a theatre screening Toofan and created ruckus in Narsapuram of West Godavari district. Raising pro-united state slogans, they forced the spectators to leave the theatre.

Similar scenes were witnessed in Kurnool district where theatres showing Toofan became the instant targets for the protesters. A timely intervention by police foiled an attack on one of the theatres.

In Visakhapatnam, protesters halted the screening of the film in Sangam and Sarath theatres. Demanding Chiranjeevi’s resignation, they attempted to tear off the posters only to be restrained by the police. The screenings resumed as soon as the police arrested a few protesters.

The Samaikhyandhra effect proved too contagious for the film across the district. Film screenings were stopped in Visakhapatnam, Araku, Arasavilli and Narsipatnam.

In temple town Tirupathi and the Chittoor district, the exhibitors shied away from showing the film. Even those very few who shrugged off the threats, eventually faced trouble from the protests. With the protesters gunning for Chiranjeevi’s resignation, the film screening was disrupted across the city.

Protesters in Venkatagiri town showed the way for the rest of Nellore district with their relentless protests against Toofan. In Nellore town, student wings of TDP and YSRCP led the stalling of Toofan shows in S2 theatre.

The move however drew flak from the mega family fans who saw it as a move to deliberately dent the openings of the film. They threatened to strike back if the protesters did not mend their ways.

In Jammalamadugu town of Kadapa district, Toofan screening was disrupted at the TPR Movie Land by protesters. They torched the posters after forcing the filmgoers out of the theatre.

Like in most parts of the state, even Vijayawada received a mega family film with a weird sense of irony. Vijayawada, long known as entertainment capital, always comes alive with releases of big ticket films.

Toofan becomes the first film in many years to have its opening day collections severely dented. Exhibitors of the 30-odd theatres in the district voluntarily cancelled the morning show to express solidarity with the protesters. But the protesters threatening to stall other shows leaves the film in deep trouble.

The film faced trouble in Medak, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts as well. Telangana agitators stormed several theatres screening the film and brought the shows to an abrupt end. They raised slogans against Chiranjeevi, calling him as a Telangana traitor.

The film posters were burnt at a few other places in these districts. The fear of attacks also had its clear impact on the opening day shows at many other places. Theatres witnessed a sparse turnout of film-lovers, leaving the distributors and producers of the film shattered.

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