Cinema staff 'detains' group of youth protesting screening of Ali Zafar's movie

Management of Nueplex cinemas says protesters trespassed on private property


Rida Lodhi/Rahul Aijaz July 21, 2018

KARACHI: A group of protesters was briefly detained by staff at the newly-opened Nueplex on Rashid Minhas Road on Saturday. The group was protesting the screening of Ali Zafar's movie Teefa in Trouble in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from Meesha Shafi.











Talking to The Express Tribune, general manager of the Rashid Minhas branch Nueplex cinemas, Habib Sheikh said, "The protesters overstepped their boundaries. This is a private property. They can't just gather here and start protesting."

"Some of the protesters forced their way into the cinemas on the first floor. They didn't have tickets. They were chanting slogans, had posters and pamphlets in their hands.," Habib continued.

The general manager added, "That's when the police and the security firm intervened and took them back outside. They then took care of them."

Theater manager Waseem Sheikh said while he wasn't present at the entrance of the cinemas, he heard the protesters shouting. "I wasn't there but I heard protesters were here. There was a little activity happening. They came inside but we took them outside as it's a private property. There was rush outside and it was jammed so we took them to the basement to clear up the space here. Then the rangers and police handled it," he said.

However, one of the guards claimed that nothing at all happened. Another guard said that the authorities "took them and then released them later."

We were also informed that the guards shifts were changed, so the new guards haven't seen or heard anything.

The Express Tribune also contacted one of the protesters, Aly Altaf, who claimed that he was detained along with his seven or eight friends.

"We were four girls and seven guys. All of us are in our late teens or early twenties. We went to the cinemas, our bags were checked and we were allowed to go inside. We went upstairs and started protesting. That's when we were asked to leave. And we were leaving, when the security stopped us and asked us to move to the basement," Aly told us.

"When I refused to be taken there, three guns were pointed at me. Since we were covering the protest live, the guard snatched the phone from my hand and collected from others as well. We were then ushered to the basement where were manhandled, slapped and pushed around," he added.

"My question to the authorities is why were we assaulted like this? There were more than 15 security guards there and they took us in a police van. We were demanded an apology or an FIR would be lodged against us," continued Aly.

This is not the first time as many protested a day before the premiere, as well as on the premiere night outside the cinema.

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COMMENTS (3)

UJ | 3 years ago | Reply What are they protesting against? Nothing has been proven in the court yet. Meesha hasn't showed to the court proceeding and her lawyer has failed to produce a single shred of evidence. Would have been a valid protest if Ali Zafar was convicted of harassment.
Maqsood Kayani | 3 years ago | Reply All that bull but nothing about what the protestors' gripe was ??? Reading this news story was a total waste of time.
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