Kolkata: In another attempt to axe the freedom of artistic expression, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in Bengal, on Saturday, stopped the screening of Anik Dutta’s film Bhobishyoter Bhoot in several theatres and multiplexes in Kolkata.

The development took place just a day after its official release.  Audiences complained that they were denied entry at various theatres in the south and north Kolkata during show time.

While, some of them were told that due to technical problems the movie couldn't be screened, others were informed that the instruction came from the higher authorities. The theatres also refunded for the tickets that were booked online. 

According to sources, the instruction to stop the screening came from the city police officials. 

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The horror-comedy film with a strong socio-political undertone is said to be critical about various issues that are currently happening in Banerjee’s Bengal. Be it the current situation of the state, the multi-crore scams, political hooliganism, frequent crimes again women or manipulating the local media, everything got subtly portrayed in the 2-hour satirical movie. 

“The film was released in as many as 44 theatres across Kolkata and was running successfully. It received a very good response yesterday. But since morning it has been removed citing no valid reasons. When we came to know about the fact, the crew members went to various multiplexes and halls and enquired about the issue. None of them came out with a proper explanation,” director Anik Dutta told MyNation.

Dutta also said all the shows were houseful and people were happy with the production.

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“When we asked the distributor if there is any circular saying not to screen the film they could not give any answer. They said the instruction was from the police but it was just verbal. They failed to produce any document to us,” he added. 

He further informed that the producer is now mulling options to take legal help on the mysterious ban.

Dutta said that the sudden ban doesn’t make any sense as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared the movie. 

“According to legal experts, no film can be banned without a valid court order if it has got the green signal from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The crew members of Bhobishyoter Bhoot also went to the South City mall multiplex on Saturday evening to enquire why the film was not being screened at the hall. They met the distributor too on the matter. However, the concerned person at the South City multiplex could not give us a proper answer,” the director added.

Bhobishyoter Bhoot crew members went live from their Facebook page 

Advocate of Calcutta High Court Kalyan  Bhaumik said: “Upon granting certification to a movie by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC/ Censor Board), a statutory censorship and classification body under Ministry of I&B, Govt.of India, there cannot be any kind of obstruction, hindrance, disturbance and stay for its release and/or its exhibition by any group, body, individuals and association unless the said granted Certificate is nullified or modified or stopped by any superior authority.

“Only a competent court can pass a judicial order of stay, and/or injunct the said movie from any exhibition or release at any time even after the issuance of Certificatication by Censor Board for the cogent reasons if the Hon'ble Court feels deem fit and proper.”

Meanwhile, Arijit Dutta, owner of Kolkata’s Priya cinema hall –a popular a uniplex cinema hall in south Kolkata — said, “I am not aware of the issue. We are not screening the film in Priya as it is closed now.” 

Composer Debojyoti Mishra, who also worked in the film, dubbed the issue as “most unfortunate”. 

“We are absolutely clueless. We all are trying to find out why the film has been stopped from the screens in theatres,” added Mishra.