Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said attempts were being made to “finish off” or shift the Hindi movie industry from Mumbai, and added that this would not be tolerated, reported PTI.
The statement came amid claims by the Narcotics Control Bureau that Mumbai had turned into a “major destination” for drugs, according to The Indian Express.
On September 8, the agency had arrested Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty in a drug case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, and also questioned Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan in the same matter.
“Bollywood enjoys a following across the globe,” the chief minister said in a statement. “The film industry generates huge employment. In the last few days, attempts have been made to malign the image of the film industry by certain quarters which is painful.” Thackeray added that Mumbai was not only the financial capital of the country, but also its entertainment capital.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government had also recently announced a plan to create a film city in Noida to attract filmmakers.
In its statement, the NCB said it had seized drugs, including 29 kg MDA, 1 kg cocaine and 2 kg phencyclidine among others in Mumbai between October 12 and 14, and said that the drugs and related arrests had “ramifications on the narcotics supply chain”.
“NCB is conducting massive operations against drug traffickers,” the statement said. “In the pursuit of operations against drug trafficking, NCB has been conducting regular raids on possible hideouts of drug traffickers, after identifying their modus operandi and whereabouts… NCB is committed to eradicating the menace of narco-trafficking.”
The agency also said it had seized 56 kg hashish from Jammu and it was found that the key recipient of the consignment was from Mumbai. It added that a Nigerian citizen was arrested with 4 gm cocaine and was “suspected to be delivering the contraband in the areas of Pali Hill Area, Bandra, Andheri, Juhu and Khar Area”. Most of these locations are upscale suburbs of the city.
Keen to reopen movie halls: Thackeray
In a meeting, the chief minister also told cinema and multiplex owners that the state culture department has prepared a standard operating procedure for the reopening of movie halls that were closed for over six months in view of the pandemic.
On September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday had issued guidelines for the fifth phase of “unlock”, allowing cinema halls to reopen at 50% capacity, and permitting states to take a call on the opening of schools from October 15.
“The government is positive about it,” Thackeray said. “Entertainment industry is a means to boost the state’s economy and the government is keen to restart it. In a cinema hall, people are in one room for nearly two hours and hence we want to ensure complete cleanliness and sanitisation as well as physical distancing.”