The protests over release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period film Padmaavat has spread to different parts of the country, including Noida, Gujarat, Rajasthan Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. The film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh is facing the ire of several Rajpur groups, led by Sri Rajput Karni Sena, despite getting a pan-India release nod from the Supreme Court and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Here’s what’s happening in various parts of the country just three days ahead of the film:
Members of the Karni Sena and other Rajput organisations protesting the release of Padmaavat on January 25 damaged DND flyover toll plaza counters and set ablaze a barrier. The glass windows and computers at the toll booth were broken.
City Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh said that around a dozen protesters were detained and a case lodged after examining CCTV footage. The protesters were from the Karni Sena, Rajput Uthan Samiti, Kshatriya Sabha among others from Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Hapur and nearby areas.
The protesters had assembled at the Greater Noida Pari Chowk and started rally from Greater Noida end to Noida. They were on bikes and cars. The police got information that they would go to a mall in Sector 18. Hence, roads leading to it were blocked, but then they moved towards the DND Flyway and damaged toll booths, the officer said, adding that they fled the spot after the police reached.
Though the protest did not cause damage to property, some members of Karni Sena on Sunday created ruckus and tore posters of Padmaavat outside a movie theatre in Begumpet. However, the police were informed immediately and the situation was brought under control.
Violent protests by members of the Rajput community were witnessed across Gujarat on Sunday, with agitators damaging buses and blocking roads.Following incidents of protesters damaging and setting buses on fire, the police issued a stern warning and deployed more personnel in the affected areas. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) also suspended its services in northern parts of the state.
Interestingly, senior state minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said such protests were "natural" and that the government was looking for a legal opinion following the Supreme Court's order.
The Shri Rajput Karni Sena today met theatre owners here seeking their cooperation against the screening of upcoming Bollywood movie 'Padmaavat' in single screens and multiplexes.
The team "requested" the owners to not screen the movie until the Supreme Court decides on the review petition to be moved by the Rajasthan government, Ravipal Singh Sarecha, a member of the fringe group, said.
The owners of cinema halls in Madhya Pradesh have defied the state government and declared that they will release Padmaavat in theatres on its scheduled date – January 25, 2018. According to them, the film will be released in at least 150 theatres across Madhya Pradesh.
The association of cinema hall owners in the state have also decided to seek additional security from the government, and are likely to petition Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla soon in this regard.