Vijayawada: It is like a cliff-hanger in a thriller movie as the curtains are set go up for the action-packed films—megastar Chiranjeevi-starring ‘Khaidi No 150’ and the Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’. Chiru’s movie is scheduled to hit the screen on Wednesday while Balayya’s flick the next day. Even as it is feared that the two movies may trigger caste tensions, the police swung into action, tightening security at the cinema halls screening the films. DGP N Sambhasiva Rao instructed all the Superintendents of Police to take stern action against the elements fomenting caste conflict in the guise of fans. The movies hogged the limelight, engaging the attention of law enforcing agencies in maintaining law and order during their screening as it might be a slugfest too between the Congress and the TDP given their association with rival political parties. Chiranjeevi from the Congress served as Union minister in the previous UPA government while Balakrishna is a TDP MLA. Typical is the mood swings of people in the State who expressed their emotions and identity with films as a medium. Caste polarisation has become order of the day as people rallied behind their heroes on caste lines. East Godavari district became a hotbed for caste fights with Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham launching a crusade for reservations for his community, sending anxious moments to the police. Rajamahendravaram SP B Rajakumari told The Hans India that police pickets were posted at the theatres which are screening the movies. The pre-release function of the Chiru’s action film set the public mood. The denial of permission for the function planned at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) stadium by the police triggered protests from Chiru’s fans. It assumed political and caste overtones. Later, the officials in Vijayawada did not give permission for screening the benefit show in the city.
Khaidi No 150 in 50 halls in Krishna
Superintendent of Police G Vijay Kumar said on Tuesday: ‘We have taken all precautionary measures to prevent any untoward incident at the theatres and sensitive areas of the district. Police are also keeping a close watch in the sensitive areas where clashes can take place between the fans of two leading actors. Majority distributors in the city are learnt to have favoured screening of Balakrishna’s movie to be released on Thursday. However, the screening of the movie Khaidi No 150 will be restricted to a limited number of screens. R Adinarayana, who is diehard fan of Chiranjeevi said lakhs of fans of Chiranjeevi are disappointed during the Sankranti festival season as the government is not giving permission for the benefit shows. Distributors have made representation to the officials for the last few days to get permission for screening the benefit show. But, due to unknown reasons, the officials have denied the permission for the benefit shows, said a distributor on Tuesday night.