Kannada filmdom mess: Media persons attacked

BANGALORE: An attack on media persons covering a protest at a city multiplex unfolded one of the ugliest episodes in the Kannada filmdom 'soap opera'. Media persons allege that the theatre's security guards attacked them, mistaking them for members of the protest group.

Defying the seven-week moratorium, the theatre has been allegedly screening non-Kannada films and the media was covering a protest by the Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists. According to media reports, two new movies Dhoom and Bride and Prejudice were released at the multiplex in Marathahalli on Friday. The Karnataka Film Producers' Association (KFPA) stopped the screenings of these movies on Friday. When the show began on Saturday, the Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists gathered and tried to barge into the Multiplex demanding that the screening be stopped.

Chief minister Dharam Singh has reportedly ordered a probe into the attack on media persons.

A TV crew member, who was jostled badly by the theater security guards, narrated the events to "We were informed that the Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists would be protesting at the theater at 11.30 am and so we reached there well before time to cover the event. Later a mob of around 30 to 40 people arrived and started stoning the theaters, breaking the glasses. We started recording the happenings, but the security guards thinking that we'd brought the attackers started beating up the media persons. The press equipments were also completely damaged."

The KFPA and the KFCC have reportedly condemned the attack and rumors are rife that Sharad, the owner of the multiplex, may be expelled from the KFCC for not taking permission from the organisation before defying the seven-week moratorium.

According to reports, the theater owners defying the moratorium have decided to continue screening non-Kannada films and have asked for police protection.

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