Showing of Tamil film in Oakville prompts death threats against local politician

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Published September 28, 2022 at 7:26 pm

Threats have been received over the showing of Ponniyin Selvan (also known as PS-1) at an Oakville theatre.

Halton Regional Police are investigating multiple violent threats made to an Oakville politician, his family and business over the scheduled screening of a Tamil film.

Sources say the threats were made against Councillor Jeff Knoll who represents Ward 5 in Oakville. Knoll is also the CEO of Film.Ca Cinemas. Threats have also been made against his family and the cinema located 171 Speers Rd.

The threats come over the showing of the movie Ponniyin Selvan, set to open Thursday (Sept. 29).

Sources say several emails were sent personally to Knoll and the local theatre threatening them and audience goers with violent actions and death if the Tamil movie is screened this weekend.

Knoll did not respond to several calls placed by inhalton.com.

Police confirmed they are “aware of the threats and are investigating.”

This is not the first time the theatre has been targeted for showing a Tamil movie.

Earlier this year extensive damage was done at the theatre that included the slashing of two screens.

A Toronto man and Pickering man were subsequently arrested in mid-July in connection with the Oakville incident along with similar occurrences in Burlington and at theatres in two other cities that resulted in more than $100,000 in damage.

“I am not aware of any connection to the threats from earlier in the year,” Halton Police Cst. Steve Elms said when asked if the current situation is connected to the earlier incidents.

Some planned screenings of Ponniyin Selvan for this weekend are already sold out. There will be increased security at the theatre.

Elms said he was not in a position to comment on protection being offered by Halton police officers.

“I can say that we have liaised with staff and provided safety tips in efforts to mitigate any potential risk(s),” he told inhalton.com.

Ponniyin Selvan (The Son of Ponni) is based on a historical novel written in Tamil by Kalki Krishnamurthy.

The action/adventure is based on Vallavaraiyan Vandhiyathevan, the warrior prince of the Vaanar clan. who becomes the commander of the Southern Troops under the reign of Utthama Chola and is sent to deliver a message from the Crown Prince Adithya Karikalan to Sundara Chola in Thanjavur.

 

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