As latest blockbuster Teefa in Trouble released across the country this weekend, footage of protests against the film began circulating on social media due to the Ali Zafar-Meesha Shafi sexual harassment case.
Today, a group of protesters gathered outside Nueplex Cinema's Rashid Minhas location. The protesters claimed that they were unarmed and left Nueplex the moment security told them to do so, but were stopped right outside the gate.
They further alleged that they were manhandled, beaten, and had their phones taken away and their data deleted.
Narrating the incident to Images, one of the protesters revealed: "We arrived at the protest around 2:30pm. They forced us out of the cinema and when we were exiting, we heard this girl screaming, she was one of ours. Four guards had snatched her phone saying she was recording a video. When we to get her, the Nueplex security forced us down into the basement, they headbutted us with their guns, they pointed a gun at a 17-year-old. There were 20 of them against four of us. They also made us kneel while we waited for the police to come pick us up."
Teefa in Trouble's premiere in Karachi on Thursday night featured some celebrities on the red carpet but outside, a group of protesters gathered and chanted slogans against Ali Zafar, who earlier this year was accused of sexual misconduct by Meesha Shafi.
A similar situation played out at Teefa's premiere in Lahore on Friday. Protestors recorded a video of a head of a major fashion brand saying he 'supported sexual harassment,' a comment for which he later apologised.
Images has reached out to the management of Nueplex and is awaiting a response.
Update: Nueplex Cinemas shared the following statement with us:
“Our team at Nueplex Cinemas works continuously towards ensuring a relaxed and comfortable environment for our customers. Protestors targeting Ali Zafar’s new film ‘Teefa In Trouble’ gathering inside our premises does not only disrupt the experience for movie goers, but most importantly violates the peaceful environment which we work very hard to provide to our patrons.
The Management of Nueplex Cinemas respects the right of the citizens to protest in a peaceful & legal manner. However, these protests should not be held inside a private property like ours in which families from all walks of life are frequent visitors.
Such incidents invite law and order agencies to address such violations and act upon them.
It is pertinent to mention here that peaceful protests were also held in a civilized manner outside the premises of Nueplex Cinemas, DHA at the premiere of ‘Teefa In Trouble’ on the 19th of July 2018.
Let us reiterate that Nueplex Cinemas screens films that are provided by film distributors. If anyone has reservations about the release of Teefa In Trouble, they should take this up with the producers of the film or Mandviwalla Entertainment who are the distributors of the title.”