Seventeen to 18 members of a Hindutva group were taken into custody in Pune after they held protests outside the venue of a film festival organised by the National Film Archive of India on Sunday, the city police said.

The protestors opposed the screening of a film called I Am Not The River Jhelum, alleging that it portrayed the Indian Army in a bad light, Vipin Hasabnis, Police Inspector at the Deccan police station told Scroll.

The film was screened as part of “Cinemas of India” film festival that was held in Pune from February 9 to February 11.

“The members of the Hindutva group held the protest after the film was screened,” the police inspector said. “The event was not disrupted due to the protest.”

The film I Am Not The River Jhelum, directed by Prabhash Chandra, depicted life in the heavily-militarised region of Kashmir through the eyes of several characters. In March 2022, Chandra jointly won the FFSI KR Mohanan award for Best Debut Director from India at the International Film Festival of Kerala.

A person who was at the screening but asked to remain unidentified said that an unknown man went up to Chandra as the question-and-answer session was underway and demanded that he stop the session.

After that, Chandra was seen going into another room. Police personnel took him away from the venue, reportedly for his safety, this person said.

Also read: In ‘I Am Not The River Jhelum’, a Kashmir file

The protest outside the “Cinemas of India” film festival venue took place over two weeks after a Hindutva mob barged into Pune’s Film Television Institute of India, shouted slogans and set ablaze a banner that said “Remember Babri, Death of Constitution”.

The men also allegedly attacked student union President Mankap Nokwoham, General Secretary Sayantan Chakrabarty and two others, including a female student, who had to be hospitalised.

The police booked seven students from the institute under Section 153B (making imputations that are prejudicial to national integrity) and 295A (insulting religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. Three persons from Hindutva group Hindu Jan Jagaran Sangathan were arrested for assaulting students, according to Newslaundry.

Earlier this week, a vehicle carrying journalist Nikhil Wagle, activist Vishwambhar Choudhary and human rights lawyer Asim Sarode was attacked in Pune by alleged supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Wagle was earlier booked by the police for making allegedly defamatory remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leader LK Advani.