Ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat', the Shree Rajput Karni Sena continued to fiercely oppose the controversial film, even as cinema hall owners and multiplexes in Rajasthan decided not to screen the movie in view of the law-and-order situation.
Ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’, the Shree Rajput Karni Sena continued to fiercely oppose the controversial film, even as cinema hall owners and multiplexes in Rajasthan decided not to screen the movie in view of the law-and-order situation. As protests against the period drama intensified, Rajasthan Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said no theatre in the state is ready to screen the movie. “No theatre in the state is ready to screen the film. In such circumstances, they (protesters) should also go for legal options from the view point of history and society and for the honour of the state. “They should go to court again and present their logic to get relief,” Kataria said in Alwar, adding the protesters should not take law in hands. “It is our duty to maintain law and order and that we will do, but we have also requested the agitators that if they want to protest they have their right but they should do so in a democratic manner,” he said.
Amitabh Jain, a senior official of Inox Cinemas, said members of Multiplex Association of India from Rajasthan have decided to not screen the film in view of the prevailing law-and-order situation. “Members of the association are not going to screen the movie in Rajasthan as there is a risk to multiplexes,” he said. Shree Rajput Karni Sena chief patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi sought to pin the blame for the protests and violence on Bhansali and insisted that a “Janta curfew” will be imposed on theatres screening the movie. “We are sorry for Rani Padmavati who, along with 16,000 other women, had committed Jauhar for protecting self-respect. Protests and violence were allowed to be created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali,” he said. “Janta curfew will be imposed at any cost on cinema halls. I may be arrested and bullets may be fired but this cannot stop us,” Kalvi said and claimed that his outfit has support of cinema hall owners and film distributors. He claimed that Shiv Sena leaders had assured the Karni Sena of support on the issue in Maharashtra. The fringe outfit leader also alleged that a dream sequence between the characters of Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati existed in the controversial film, which, he said, was “intolerable”. “Those who watched the film on the censor board’s invitation a few days back have said that there is a dream sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati in the film.
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We have been demanding that there should be no dream sequence and no romantic scene between the two,” he said. Some incidents of protests and demonstration against the film were reported from different parts of the state. Protesters threw stones at two state roadways buses at Neema Ka Thana in Sikar district. Windows were damaged but there was no report of any injury, the police said. A road was blocked for sometime at Kalwar area in Jaipur, while people took out rallies in Pali. “A few minor incidents were reported in different parts of the state. All district SPs have been asked to remain alert and forces are on stand by to maintain law and order,” ADG Law and Order N R K Reddy told PTI. SP Jalore Vikas Sharma said that nearly 50 people assembled in a town Bagoda protesting against the film and markets were closed.
In Chittorgarh, few women were prevented from entering Chittor fort for holding protest, Deputy SP Gajendara Singh said, adding more police personnel have been deployed in and around the fort. In Bikaner, a Congress delegation led by Gopal Gehlot handed over a memorandum to district collector Anil Gupta demanding that the film should not be released in view of public sentiments. The memorandum is addressed to the president, Gupta said. The Supreme Court had earlier paved the way for the all-India release of the controversial film and stayed notifications and orders issued by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat — all ruled by the BJP — prohibiting exhibition of the film.