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HomeFact CheckPolice Arrest Cinemagoers For Watching ‘The Kerala Story’ In West Bengal Mall?...

Police Arrest Cinemagoers For Watching ‘The Kerala Story’ In West Bengal Mall? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Video

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
West Bengal police arrests cinemagoers for watching “The Kerala Story” in Inox, Forum Rangoli Mall, Howrah

Fact
Police pulling away people for creating ruckus in mall after cancellation of “The Kerala Story” screening

A video has recently gone viral on social media with the claim that the West Bengal police had allegedly assaulted and arrested people in Inox, Forum Rangoli Mall, Howrah, for watching the controversial film, “The Kerala Story”.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Also read: Unrelated Video Shared To Show Massive Support To Wrestlers’ Protest

The West Bengal ban on the film

West Bengal had on Monday (May 8) reportedly banned the screening of “The Kerala Story”, which shows three women from Kerala joining the Islamic State (IS) group, saying it has the potential to incite violence. The state government in a notification said the movie is “likely to cause a breach of peace” and that it has prohibited the screening of the film to avoid “any incident of hatred or violence to maintain law and order in the state”.

Fact check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “Inox Rangoli mall Kerala story”, which did not throw up any news reports of such an incident.

A relevant keyword search on Twitter, however, led us to this tweet thread by the Howrah City Police, dated May 9, 2023, calling the viral claims of police assaulting and preventing people from watching the movie as “entirely false”.

According to the police, the Inox manager had on Monday night complained to the police of a “law-and-order” situation in the mall after 30-40 people demanded an immediate refund owing to the cancellation of the film’s screening. A police team from Belur intervened, managing to calm the crowd and dispersing them, however, four people continued to protest, following which they were taken to the local police station, where they were released after all legal procedures.

We then reached out to the Inox authorities who clarified that no arrests were made. According to the authorities, after they had withdrawn “The Kerala Story” from their screens following the government notification on Monday, four-five people had barged into the cinema, creating a ruckus over watching the movie, forcing the police to intervene and take them away.

Conclusion

The West Bengal police did not arrest cinemagoers for watching “The Kerala Story” in Howrah mall.

Result: Missing context

Sources
Tweet thread, Howrah City Police, May 9, 2023
Conversation with Inox authorities


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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