Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has claimed that all Pakistani artists have left Mumbai following their 48-hour ultimatum.
The party on September 23 gave a 48-hour ultimatum to all Pakistani cine and tele-artistes to quit India or face consequences.
The MNS also said if anyone is still ‘hiding’ in the city, they will be hunted down.
MNS leader Amey Khopkar, chief of the MNS’s cinema workers’ unit Chitrapat Karamchari Sena confirmed that all Pakistani artists have left the city.
According to MNS, the ‘go back’ order also apply to sportspersons and singers. The MNS would stop producers from shooting shows involving Pakistani actors.
Thanking various TV shows and radio channels for discontinuing Pakistani actors and artists from their shows, Khopkar said that he will ensure that they do not return to the city.
Shalini Thackeray, General Secretary of MNS Chitrapat Karamchari Sena, said, “It is not a veiled threat. It’s a direct threat to producers like Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar who take Pakistani actors in their movies. Can’t you find Indian actors for your films? In this 125 crores Indian population, can’t you find a single Indian actor to cast in your films that you import people from a place like Pakistan, a country with which we all are facing a problem? It’s not a veiled threat but a direct threat. We will not allow the release of these movies here.”
Zee’s head honcho Subhash Chandra has hinted that channel Zindagi could completely stop Pakistani programmes from airing them.
While many Bollywood actors have chosen to stay mum on the issue, few have taken a stance. Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya supported the MNS and lashed out at filmmakers like Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt and actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan for allowing Pakistani artists to work in their films.
He said in his tweet:
— abhijeet (@abhijeetsinger) September 24, 2016
— India Today (@IndiaToday) September 23, 2016
Comedian Raju Srivastav has cancelled his show in Pakistan. He tweeted:
— TheNewsMinute (@thenewsminute) September 24, 2016
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has also targeted the promotions of Fawad Khan’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and Mahira Khan’s ‘Raees’ , saying that filmmakers and producers ‘should not cast Pakistanis in their films’.
Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh said actors have always been the first ones to be targeted, no matter whatever the agenda is.
Echoing similar sentiments, actor Sushant Singh Rajput said that politics and art should not interfere in each other’s work.
Earlier, Mumbai police had issued a notice to MNS for threatening and giving ultimatum to production houses who have hired Pakistani artists. The notice is under section 149 of Indian Penal Code for unlawful assembly.
The development comes amidst rising tensions between the two nations after four terrorists killed 18 Army personnel at an Army camp in Uri region.