Unwilling to take on a belligerent Shiv Sena, many multiplexes were undecided whether to release the Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name Is Khan on Friday. However, the film's distributor said Thursday night they would go ahead with the release as per schedule.
After Sena activists earlier vandalised several theatres that are to screen the film, multiplexes in Mumbai said they will decide on Friday whether to release the film or not.
However, Vijay Singh, CEO Fox Star Distribution, announced they would release the film countrywide Friday.
"There is a huge demand for My Name Is Khan... we are releasing it nationally tomorrow [Friday]," Singh said.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday evening reiterated that full security would be provided to all cinema halls across the state that are slated to screen the movie.
"We are not aware of the decision taken by the exhibitors. But we are ready to provide full security to the cinemas and the patrons," Chavan told mediapersons.
Chavan urged cinema owners to display courage by exhibiting the movie and not get cowed down by the threats of unruly elements.
Mumbai Police Commissioner D Shivanandhan also said that adequate security has already been provided to all cinemas planning to screen the movie.
"We are thankful to the state machinery for providing security, but the fact of the matter is that no customer has really turned up and there are threats from the Shiv Sena. The atmosphere is not good and in such a situation if we release the film and something happens, somebody has to be responsible," Vishal Kapur, CEO Fun Cinemas, told reporters in Mumbai.
A spokesperson of Gaitey Galaxy had earlier said: " No, we are not releasing My Name is Khan tomorrow."
The Shiv Sena is opposing the release of My Name is Khan after Shah Rukh refused to apologise for saying that Pakistani cricketers should have been included for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.