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December 4, 1998
ASSEMBLY POLL '98
The fire against Fire spreads to Surat
Bajrang Dal activists yesterday barged into the Raj Palace theatre in Surat and forcibly stopped the screening of Canada-based director Deepa Mehta's controversial film Fire.
Police sources said today that about 20 activists of the Sangh Parivar outfit entered the theatre in the evening and ransacked the premises, breaking glasses and damaging furniture and other equipment.
No arrests have been made.
The loss of property has been estimated at Rs 225,000, according to a police complaint lodged by the theatre manager.
Another group of Bajrang Dal activists set fire to three video parlours in Matawadi area of Surat yesterday. The Dal plans to force the closure of all such parlours in the city soon.
Meanwhile, in a statement in today's issue of the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, party chief Bal Thackeray has appealed to Shiv Sainiks to exercise restraint while demonstrating against the film.
"Our fight is not against the theatre owners, but against the film-makers and the actors who were involved in making and presenting such an obscene film which is against Indian tradition," Thackeray said.
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