New Delhi: A massive protest organised by Karni Sena activists near Vashi late on Monday evening brought disrupted traffic on the Pune-Panvel Expressway. The activists were protesting against Bollywood film Padmaavat - scheduled for a February 25 release.
Shouting slogans against the film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the protestors lit up fire, burnt tyres and attempted Raasta Roko - bringing to halt movement of traffic. Hapless commuters were seen stranded on the road with traffic congestion making it difficult to even make a U-turn.
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Members of Karni Sena and other Rajput organisations have intensified their protest after Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) allowed the film to be released with certain modifications. States like Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have banned the film even though Supreme Court has cleared the path for the release.
Here's what happened in different states on Sunday and Monday:
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.