Security arrangements across Haryana and Chandigarh were tightened on Thursday to deal with any situation resulting due to the build-up of tension over the release of controversial film "MSG – the Messenger" Friday.
The flick features Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Prohibitory orders were issued by authorities in various districts of Haryana to prevent any untoward incident as Sikh organisations in Haryana and Chandigarh are opposing the release of the film.
Police and para-military forces have been stationed at several places across Haryana and Chandigarh.
The Punjab government banned the release of the film in Punjab last month itself.
After being denied a release certificate by the censor board last month, the film was given this last week. It is scheduled to be released in over 4,000 screens across India Friday.
Haryana Police officers said here Thursday that the situation was being closely monitored in various parts of the state, especially in Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Ambala and other districts.
While the Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters are located near Sirsa town, 250 km from here, Kurukshetra and some other places house a substantial Sikh population.
The relations between sect followers and Sikhs have not been good in recent years.
Kurukshetra district magistrate C.G. Rajnikanthan, who issued the certificate for release of "MSG – the Messenger" in the district, warned that action would be taken against anyone disturbing law and order over the film’s release.
The district authorities have imposed Section 144, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people and carrying of firearms near the theatre, where the film will be released Sunday.
In Chandigarh, security has been tightened around the malls, where the film will be released Friday.
Sikh leaders submitted a memorandum to the Chandigarh Administration Thursday seeking a ban on the release of the film. They said that the administration would be responsible if anything untoward happened.
The controversial movie was earlier called "MSG" (Messenger of God).
It was to be released Jan 16 but it did not get clearance from the censor board. Various groups had protested against its release at that point in time as well.
The sect leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who plays the protagonist in the film, is its director, singer and lyricist, and has been aggressively promoting the film countrywide.
The sect claims that the movie is not against any religion or group and was only highlighting social evils.