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Hyderabad police halt screening of ‘Ram Ke Naam’ documentary, arrest three members of movie club

Three persons were arrested by the Hyderabad police on Saturday, for screeing Ram ke Naam- a documentary on the Babri Masjid demolition by Anand Patwardhan.

According to the sources, the screeing was organised by a movie enthusiats group- Hyderabad Cinephiles at a cafe in the city.

The arrests were made based on the complaint from a member of Vishva Hindu Parishad ( VHP).

The Neredmet police halted the screening of the film and picked up Anand Singh and Parag Varma, two members of the group, and the cafe owner Srujan.

The police have registered a case against Anand, Parag and others under section 290 (Public nuisance), 295A (Outraging the religious feelings) read with Section 34 (When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Several social media users have come in support of the Cinephiles group demanding release of the arrested members.

Taking to Instagram, Hyderabad Cinephiles condemned the police action against its members.

“The screening of the move hadn’t even reached the midpoint, when police and members of VHP stormed into the cafe and started yelling that the screening was illegal, ” they said.

When the movie club members tried to explain that the film is not banned and that it is available on YouTube, the police refused to listen to them and took the three into custody, they added.

Ram ke Naam is a 1992 documentary by Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan. The film explores the campaign waged by the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation Vishva Hindu Parishad to build a temple to the Hindu deity Ram at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, as well as the communal violence that it triggered.

The documentary has been subject to censorship multiple times even though there has been no restrictions placed legally.

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