Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government will make ”The Kerala Story” tax-free in the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday.
The announcement comes days after the Madhya Pradesh government said it will give tax-free status to the film in the state.
”’The Kerala Story’ to be made tax free in Uttar Pradesh,” Adityanath said from his official Twitter handle.
According to Director Information Shishir, the UP chief minister will attend a special screening of the film in Lucknow on Friday.
Online harassment case: Kerala CM attacks Cong, says social media being used to target opponents
”’The Kerala Story’ will be made tax free in UP. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will watch the special screening of the movie with his cabinet on May 12 in Lucknow,” he said.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, ”The Kerala Story” depicts how women from Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and recruited by the terror group Islamic State (IS). The film, which was released on May 5, has kicked up a political storm.
On the day of the film’s release, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had credited the movie for bringing out terror conspiracies and used it to attack the Congress during an election rally in poll-bound Karnataka.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ordered an immediate ban on the screening of the controversial film ”The Kerala Story” in the state to avoid “any incident of hatred and violence”.
Multiplexes across Tamil Nadu cancelled screenings of the controversial film from Sunday, citing law and order issues and poor public response.
On Sunday during an election rally, Deputy Chief Minister of UP Brajesh Pathak said if there is a proposal, the state government would make ”The Kerala Story” tax-free.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday announced tax-free status to the film in the state.
UP BJP secretary Abhijat Mishra on Saturday organised the screening of the controversial film for about 100 college girls in the city. The BJP leader booked a theatre and said the movie should be shown to young women to prevent them from ‘love jihad’.
‘Love jihad’ is a term often used by right-wing activists to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.
Mishra had said the movie is based on true events and shows how gullible girls are manipulated and then converted.
”The Kerala Story”, starring Adah Sharma, was released in cinemas on Friday and was initially portrayed as ”unearthing” the events behind ”approximately 32,000 women” allegedly missing from Kerala. It is directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s Sunshine Pictures.
According to the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims that 32,000 women got converted and radicalised and were deployed in terror missions in India and the world. The filmmakers later changed the figure in the film’s trailer.
Last week, the Kerala High Court also refused to stay the release of the film and said the trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole.