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Padmaavat Releases Today Amid Protests in Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh; Karni Sena Adamant on Ban
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.
New Delhi, Jan 25: Padmaavat is set to release today amid tight security after the Supreme Court refused to modify its earlier order which had cleared the decks for the nationwide release of the film, while rejecting pleas filed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh seeking modification in the same. It said people must understand that orders of the top court have to be “abided with”.
However on Wednesday, the members of Karni Sena and other fringe outfits in some states, including Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana, resorted to burning posters and vandalising the ticket counter of the movie theaters even as Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi remained adamant on not letting the film release on January 25. “We are adamant on our stand that this film should be banned. January 25 may come and go but we won’t let the film release, come what may,” he said.
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Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, he condemned the violent protests and said,”Jo bhi ho raha hai dukhad hai, galat hai, par ab mann ki jwala ko sadkon pe dhadhakne se koi rok nahi sakta, main bhi nahi (Whatever is happening is not right. But now, no one, including me, can stop the angst among people).”
Meanwhile, the Multiplex Association of India, which represents about 75 per cent of multiplex owners, said its members would not screen the movie in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.
School bus attacked, theatres vandalised in Haryana
Haryana government’s assurance of providing security went in vain on Wednesday when a bus of a private school, carrying children and staff, was pelted with stones in Gurugram. The protesters even set vehicles on fire at Sohna Road and vandalised several theatres.
On the other hand, hundreds of Shree Rajput Karni Sena supporters protested at the Kherki Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in Gurugram. The police had detained nearly 25-30 protesters in connection with anti-Padmaavati protests on Wednesday.
Vandalism, stone pelting, cash reward to chop off Deepika’s nose in Uttar Pradesh
As anti-Padmaavat protests spread across Uttar Pradesh, a fringe group in Kanpur, Kanpur Kshatriya Mahasabha, announced a cash reward to anyone who chops off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose. On the other hand in Lucknow, the police had to use force to disperse an agitating mob. Alleged members of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena also blocked the Mathura-Agra route of the North Central Railway at Bhuteshwar station for about 10 minutes in a “symbolic protest”.
In Gorakhpur, a large number of people belonging to the Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Samaj held a protest before the district magistrate’s office against the film whereas, in Meerut, stones were pelted at the PVS mall in allegedly in protest against the film.
Protesters block NH-3 in Madhya Pradesh
In Indore, nearly 200 protesters blocked the National Highway 3, which links Agra and Mumbai. According to the police, the protesters broke glass bottles to stop the movement of the traffic. Karni Sena activists also burnt an effigy of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Delhi-Jaipur Highway blocked in Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, the protesters blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Traffic also suffered a hit on Delhi-Ajmer highway as protesters burnt tyres. On the other hand, a bus was pelted with stones in Sikar. In Jaipur, the authorities had to shut down the Chittor Fort for the second time in its centuries-old history after Karni Sena members tried to break in.
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. Security outside theatres in Haryana, Delhi, Bengaluru and other states has been beefed up to overcome any untoward incident following the release of the film.