Bengaluru: Police book family heckled over national anthem in cinema hall

Ralph Alex Arakal
The incident took place in PVR Orion Mall, Malleshwaram, on October 23. (Photo for representation)

Over a fortnight since a group of people had a heated argument with a family for not standing up for the national anthem at a Bengaluru cinema hall, police have registered a suo motu case against the family.

An FIR has been filed "against the individuals who were being heckled at" in the video that went viral on social, under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, Subramanya Nagar police confirmed.

The incident took place in PVR Orion Mall, Malleshwaram, on October 23, during the last show for the day of Asuran, a Dhanush-starred Tamil movie.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, DCP (North) N Shashikumar said a notice had been sent to PVR to furnish details of the individuals, to help the investigating team contact them.

"Once the individuals who were heckled at, as seen in the video, are traced, we will record their statements on the issue. The people who made the video will also be summoned for an inquiry to confirm whether an instance of disrespect to the national anthem was observed," he said.

Police officers added that the FIR was filed taking cognizance of the video that went viral, after a "thorough consultation with legal experts".

In the video, Kannada actors Arun Gowda and B V Aishwarya, with others, can be seen questioning the family for not standing up for the national anthem played before the screening of the movie.

The video shows Gowda pointing at the family and saying, “These people chose not to stand up while the national anthem was being played. When asked why, they are asking us to file a police complaint.”

When contacted, Gowda said the incident turned into a heated argument only when the family started speaking about “the Army in a disrespectful manner.”

The police, is, however, looking into all aspects of the matter, officers said.