Chandigarh, Feb 13: The controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief-starrer 'MSG The Messenger' on Friday hit the screens across Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh under heavy security cover, even as protests erupted in several areas against its screening.
'MSG The Messenger' released in over 3,000 screens across the country with a large number of sect followers including youths thronged the cinemas and multiplexes to watch the film, Dera spokesman Aditya Insaan said.
However, scores of activists of jailed leader Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) held protests in Hisar, Jind, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Faridabad and Gurgaon against its release, though the situation remained under control.
A report from Kurukshetra said INLD state President Ashok Arora, along with around 200 workers, took out a procession towards Kessal Mall in the town where the movie was being screened but police stopped them at Birla Mandir chowk, half- a-km from the Mall. Demanding ban on the film, Arora said, "The job of saints is to organise religious functions, not to make movies."
INLD activists at Parijit Chowk in Hisar even burnt the effigy of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and demanded the ban on the release of the movie.
Some of the multiplex owners at few places in Karnal and Sirsa refused to screen the movie apprehending attack by members of radical Sikhs outfits.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements in Haryana and Chandigarh anticipating protests by radical Sikh groups who were demanding ban on the film's release.
Haryana DGP Yashpal Singhal had yesterday appealed to the people to maintain law and order, and prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 had been imposed in several districts.