Thursday, December 3, 1998 Published at 16:39 GMT
World: South Asia
Hindu militants stage lesbian film attacks
The media were told of the protest in advance
Hindu extremists in India have continued their attacks on cinemas showing a controversial film centred on a lesbian relationship.
A restaurant was also damaged, but nobody was hurt and the vandals did not get into the auditorium, where the internationally-acclaimed movie was showing to a full house.
Film 'attacks Hindu culture'
The day before two cinemas in Bombay had suffered similar attacks.
Shiv Sena says the film is anti-Hindu because of a scene showing the two main female characters having sex.
The group's president, Jaibhagwan Goyal, said: "This scene is a direct attack on our Hindu culture and civilisation.
Fire tells the story of two sisters-in-law trapped in loveless marriages who develop an emotional - and eventually physical relationship.
The film had already been showing in India for three weeks before the wave of violent protests began.
Police in Delhi say they have begun making arrests and that they will prevent further attacks.
But some cinema owners are not taking any chances and have stopped showing the film for fear of further trouble.
The movie's Canadian-based director Deepa Mehta, has defended the public's right to see her work without fear of intimidation.
"Fire has gone through the Indian censors without one cut," she said.
"So, you know, I think that let's not under-estimate the Indian audience. I didn't make the film to shock people. I made the film because I wanted to make the film."