Group manhandles youth, two women for disrespecting national anthem in Chennai

Published: Dec 12, 2016, 17:29 IST | mid-day online correspondent

A group of men manhandled a youth and two women who did not stand up when the national anthem was played before the screening of a movie in Chennai

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A group of men manhandled a youth and two women who did not stand up when the national anthem was played before the screening of a movie in Chennai.

The incident occurred after a group of eight youngsters allegedly remained seated when the national anthem was being played before the morning show of Chennai 28 - II in the Kasi Theatre located at Ekkatuthangal in Chennai.

The Supreme Court in its order dated November 30 mandated playing of the national anthem before screening of movies in all theatres across the country and that the audience must stand up in respect as a part of their 'sacred obligation'.

During the interval, one man named Vijayakumar grabbed a youth identified as Viji by the collar and demanded why he did not stand up for the national anthem. In an argument that ensued, 20 people ganged up and roughed up Viji and two women Sabaritha and Shreela.

"We were harassed and manhandled by the men. They issued life threats and assaulted us," Shreela, a law student, told TOI. "We did not have any intention to show disrespect," she said. Vijayakumar, a civil service aspirant, claimed that they did not have any personal enmity towards the group. "We felt that they showed disrespect to the national anthem. They were taking selfies and applauding when national anthem was being played, which was not welcome by many of us."

None from the audience allegedly came to the rescue of the students. By the time a security guard stepped in, the victims had informed their friends explaining the issue and asked them to come to the theatre.

The theatre officials intervened during and a security guard stayed behind in the theatre, throughout the show. But an argument broke out again in the parking lot after the show ended.

Both the groups were taken to the MGR Police station and they filed counter complaints against each other.

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