Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is under fire for allegedly stopping the screening of Bengali film 'Teen Kanya', at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation-owned Star Cinema hall. The movie has scenes which refer to the Park Street Rape case - a raw spot for the West Bengal Chief Minister who faced stinging criticism over her comments against the victim. At the cinema hall, audiences who had come to purchase tickets were being turned away.
The movie, has a censor board certificate, yet the crew said that the government is trying to ban it. Director and Producer Agnidev Chatterjee said, "There are a lot of people standing in the queues and their tickets are not being issued. They are saying that you have to get permission from higher authorities because we've been told not to sell the tickets."
The West Bengal government though tried to pass the buck saying the cinema hall is owned by the Municipal Corporation. But the corporation is controlled by the Trinamool Congress itself. State Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said, "According to my info, Star Theatre which is owned by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has been leased out to a private company. Hence, which film gets screened there is the responsibility of that company and the West Bengal government has no role to play."
The blackout of 'Teen Kanya' from Star refreshes recent memories of the government reprimanding a Jadavpur University teacher and a Belpahari farmer who spoke against state policies. While the government may deny direct responsibility for this incident, it speaks volumes of the level of intolerance that has permeated at different levels of the state's power structure.