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Ban on Sadda Haq Punjabi movie sparked protests in Punjab

April 6, 2013 | By

Patiala/Jalndhar, Punjab (April 06, 2013): Punjabi film ‘Sadda Haq’ was scheduled to be released on April 05 but it was banned by Punjab government under pressure from high-ups in Punjab police and the bureaucracy on the late evening of April 04.

Sikhs protest against Ban on Sadda Haq Punjabi Movie on April 05 at Jalandhar

Sikhs protest against Ban on Sadda Haq Punjabi Movie on April 05 at Jalandhar

Members of several Sikh organizations held protests on April 04 in Jalandhar demanding that the ban be withdrawn on the film which deals with militancy in Punjab.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Assistant District Collector Parneet Bhardwaj demanding that the film be cleared for screening.

Similarly, a protest was held at Hoshiarpur, where Sikhs condemned Badal Government for imposing ban on the release of the movie.

In Patiala member of the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar led by party president Simranjeet Singh Mann held a protest against the ban on the movie.

Meanwhile, protesting against the ban imposed by Punjab Government on Sadda Haq Punjabi movie the producer and actor Kuljinder Sidhu has termed the ban as shameful and a “black spot on democracy”.

Protest at Patiala against ban on Sadda Haq Punjabi Movie (April 05) by SAD (Mann)

It is learnt that the movie was recently reviewed by high-ups in Punjabi police and the administration of Punjab government on whose recommendations the ban was imposed on the movie.

According to Times of India (TOI) “[t]he movie was screened at Punjab Bhawan by the film producers on Thursday evening, to get the approval from a team of IAS and IPS officers, comprising principal secretary to CM S K Sandhu, principal secretary (home) D S Bains, additional director general of police Hardeep Dhillon and chief secretary Rakesh Singh”.

The movie is based on real event of Punjab during 1980s-90s it portrays the widespread police torture and other inhuman practices that were part of the policing practice of that period. Many police officers including Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini are facing charges for heinous crimes, such as torture, murder/extra-judicial killings. Recently an SSP rank officer Preet Pal Singh Virk, besides some other Punjab police cops, was convicted by a CBI court for abduction, illegal confinement and custodial torture and was sentenced to undergo ten years of imprisonment. It is believed that the Punjab Government’s move to ban the moive is result of pressure exerted by the high-ups in Punjab police.

It is notable that the movie was previously banned by India’s Central Board of Film Certification. The review petition to the CBFC by the producers was also dismissed. On an appeal the Film Certification Appelate Tribunal (FCAT) had approved the movie and it was awarded “U” certificate which signifies that the movie may be watched by persons of any age.

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