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MNS threatens to beat up Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt

MNS leader Amey Khopkar holds out open threat to Hindi film producers who work with Pakistani artistes.

Karan Johar's next film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is in the line of fire from 'patriots' of the MNS

Keyur Seta

After the Uri attacks in Jammu & Kashmir by Pakistan-based terrorists, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a regional party led by Raj Thackeray, came out strongly against Pakistani actors working in India. The party, which runs an association of cine workers, gave Pakistani artistes an ultimatum to return to their country. It also threatened to stall the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees as both films star Pakistani artistes.

Now, in a fresh turn of events, MNS leader Amey Khopkar has threatened to beat up those filmmakers who collaborate with Pakistani artistes. Talking to a TV channel, Khopkar said, “If filmmakers like Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt dare to cast Pakistani actors, they will be beaten up. We will beat them up on the road. Our country comes first, art is secondary. If they feel this is goondagiri or dadagiri, so be it. We will also beat up Pakistani artistes.”

Khopkar said his party would not let Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees be released, come what may. “Neither Shah Rukh Khan nor Karan Johar have given any written confirmation [of removing Pakistani actors from their films]. Our protest against these two films will continue. We won’t let these films be released in Mumbai, even if our party members are jailed."

Some reports earlier claimed that Johar might tweak the script of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil since the characters played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma hail from Pakistan. The film is scheduled for release on 28 October. Raees, on the other hand, is only due for release on 26 January 2017.