Six booked at IFFK for not standing up for national anthem
Kochi: Police on Monday took six people including a woman into custody for not standing up for the national anthem before the screening of a film at the ongoing International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram.
They were taken to the city police station and were charged for contempt of the Supreme Court order. Some media reports also suggest that five other people were also arrested after the show got over. It has been reported that police officials were sitting among the audience.
The action was taken on a complaint lodged with Director General of Police (DGP), Loknath Behra by Bharatiya Yuva Morcha activists. The BJP's youth wing had complained that media reports suggested that few delegates at the IFFK weren't standing for the national anthem before all the screenings. The DGP immediately directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police to look into the matter.
The DGP sought explanation from the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA) over the same.
In reply, KSCA Secretary Mahesh B said that the delegates will have to abide by the Supreme Court order that the national anthem should be paid due respect.
He further added that the reservation of those delegates who don't enter the theater five minutes before the national anthem is played will be cancelled.
The KSCA had earlier remarked that it was willing to have a legal opinion on whether to demand for an exemption from playing national anthem before the screening of films at IFFK.
The film festival that embarked on Friday is scheduled to have 490 screenings in 13 theatres across the state capital. The film fiesta has so far managed to gather a huge turnout for most of the screenings.
Earlier on Friday, a Kerala-based film society turned the apex court demanding fort exemption from its order that made standing up mandatory for everyone when the national anthem is played before a film screening. They told the court that a number of films are scheduled to be screened at the IFFK and it would cause inconvenience to the 1,500 odd foreign guests attending the fest.
The top court, however, refused to provide any relief. It is not yet clear if among the arrested where there any foreigners.