A day before Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ is set to release, the violent protests are raging on across the country and mostly in BJP-ruled states, on Wednesday. Protesters are uncontrollably engaged in violent protests in BJP-ruled states. Most violent-hit states are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. But generally, not much violence are reported from the Southern states such as Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In Delhi also witnessed violent though it is rule by Aam Aadmi Party. No incidences of violence have been reported from West Bengal and Bihar.
The police have arrested scores of Karni Sena activists in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 144 have been announced in Gurugram in Haryana. A school bus was torched at Gurugram in Haryana. Three malls were vandalised in Gujarat. In UP also, Karni Sena activists pelted stones at a mall. Many theatre owners, intimidated by the protest, have decided to quit screening of the film ‘Padmaavat’. The Supreme Court is going to consider another petition on Padmavat on Monday.
As a response to the acts of intimidation by Karni Sena, most of the theatre owners in Gujarat have refused to screen the film anywhere in the State. In Gujarat, more than 150 four-wheelers and two-wheelers were damaged as mobs went on the rampage after 8pm, targeting three malls with multiplexes and a standalone theatre complex in the western part of the city.
Three city malls — Acropolis, Ahmedabad One, Himalaya Mall — and Cinemex, the standalone theatre complex, came under attack despite theatre owners in the city declaring they would not screen Padmaavat. Violence and arson hit Ahmedabad on Tuesday night shortly after a candle march by Karni Sena activists.
Karni Sena Chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi has refused to back down and says that the protest will now happen in states where the film is not banned yet.
In Delhi, the fringe outfit has already blocked Delhi-Jaipur highway disrupting the law and order. The Protesters torch a bus in Bhondsi, Gurgaon, over the release of Padmavaat. Slamming the central and state governments, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says that if the government can't ensure the safety of a film in their respective states, how can they expect investors to invest in a business there. Security tightened around Gurgaon’s SRS cinemas. Many multiplexes in Delhi-NCR are considering cancelling shows of Padmaavat after the violent stir by members of the Rajput Karni Sena. Movietime cinema in Greater Noida has already decided to cancel a show on Friday evening that was fully booked online. Several theatres in Rohini, Delhi, are also considering stopping shows.
In Rajasthan, Chittorgarh Fort has been closed as a mark of protest against the release. Padmaavat has been passed with a U/A certificate after five modifications and a title change.
Earlier, various states government banned the film, however, the makers knocked on the doors of SC where the ruling came in their favour. SC asked the states to lift the ban and rejected their petition to review the decision. However, Karni Sena doesn't seem convinced with the verdict. The Supreme Court has now decided to hear another plea banning some scenes on Monday.
In Maharashtra, the Police on Wednesday detained around 20 activists of the Karni Sena for protesting against the controversial film. A leader of the Rajput organisation on Tuesday threatened that the activists would take a 'jal samadhi' (drown themselves) in the Gangapur dam and if the police arrest them, they will not seek bail. As the protesters gathered near the Gangapur dam, they were detained, Nashik taluka police station inspector Babasaheb Thombe said.
In Uttar Pradesh, Meerut Police on the lookout for about 10 masked men who came to pelt stones at PVS mall. “We will provide security to the mall at the time of screening of the film,” ANI quotes Chakrapani Tripathi, circle officer, civil lines, as saying. In Lucknow, Wave multiplex cinema puts up a notice saying it has cancelled Wednesday’s premiere show of Padmaavat. The notice follows an attempted immolation bid outside it. Security is tightened outside Wave cinemas in Lucknow.
In Haryana, a School bus was attacked in Gurugram. Two days ahead of the release of the controversial Bollywood film 'Padmaavat', Section 144 was imposed in Gurugram on Tuesday.
Gurugram District Magistrate Vinay Pratap Singh, in a statement, said, "Direction under section 144 is necessary to impose restrictions on the presence of persons carrying firearms and other articles capable of causing injury, raising slogans and exhibiting placards within a 200-metre radius of cinema halls/multiplexes under Section 144."