Ludhiana/Nagpur: Udta Punjab, the drug-themed Bollywood film that was embroiled in a censorship row and multiple legal battles, was released across the country today as scheduled without any incident being reported, barring protests by Shiv Sena activists in Ludhiana.
Police took 30 activists of Shiv Sena (Hindustan) into preventive custody in Ludhiana after they tried to create ruckus when the movie screening was going on in a multiplex there even as tight security arrangements were put in place at various places across Punjab.
They were later released.
The Police said that security at cinema halls and multiplexes, especially in prominent shopping malls at various cities including Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, was beefed up.
In Ludhiana, Shiv Sena (Hindustan) leader Rajiv Tandon demanded that the film should be banned because it was defaming Punjab.
The activists of the outfit tried to forcibly enter Goverdan Mall where the Abhishek Chaubey-directed film was being screened. Police, however,prevented their entry.
No other untoward incident has been reported.
Meanwhile, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the controversy surrounding Udta Punjab is an attempt to malign the image of Punjab and its people.
Drug abuse is not the only problem coming from the other side of the border. We have also faced problem of infiltration from the border region, Badal, an MP of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, said.
She alleged that it (Udta Punjab controversy) was a clearcut attempt to vilify the state and spread false views about it and said, One knows who has funded the film.
On Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi claiming that seven out of 10 youths in Punjab were drug addicts, she said, If this was the case, why did Congress-led governments not check the menace for so many years?
On drug menace, the Union minister said it was a worldwide phenomenon and even the US cannot control the problem.