New Delhi: A day before the release of controversial Bollywood film Padmaavat - formerly known as Padmavati, Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi defended his organisation and said he cannot take the blame for country-wide instances of violent protests.
Karni Sena has been at the forefront of the protest against the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film and the organisation accuses the director of misrepresenting facts. The film itself begins with a message that clarifies it is based on an epic poem penned by a 16th century Sufi poet. That has not cut ice with Rajput groups like Karni Sena. "This entire episode is Bhansali's fault, it is his doing and conspiracy. We will never stop protecting the honour of Rani Padmavati," said Kalvi during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, adding that Karni Sena cannot be blamed for every incident of violent protest. "We are not in favour of violence although we have been protesting against the film in our own way. Violence is not the answer but we will continue with our demand of a ban on the film. We will impose janata curfew," said Kalvi.
Reports of violent protests, arson, vandalism and destruction of public and private property have been coming in from across the country in the run-up to the release of the movie. States like Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat had even banned the film despite an all-clear from Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The states were reprimanded for it by Supreme Court and an appeal made by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh was struck down as well. The top court has asked states to ensure law and order is maintained but even on Wednesday, there were incidents of violence and Raasta Roko.