Activists of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena on Friday gathered outside the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) office here on Friday to protest against the coming release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat. Security was beefed up outside the CBFC office. A few protestors were taken away by the police, but released after a few hours.
Members of the Rajput outfit, under the leadership of its President Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, gathered outside the CBFC office to express dissent over the censor board's decision to allow the release of the controversial movie. Some of them were seen holding aloft the movie's poster with a red mark denoting a cross on it.
Jeevan Singh Solanki, Karni Sena's Maharashtra state Secretary, told IANS: "We will not let the film release in the country under any circumstances. Some states have already agreed with us and, therefore, banned it. We want the film to be banned in the whole country."
"We are going to urge our Prime Minister to ban the film because the movie will ruin the heritage and culture of the Rajput community. The filmmaker has played with the sentiments of the Rajputs," said Solanki, adding that they will write to the Maharashtra Chief Minister to ban "Padmaavat" in the state.
The movie will not be released in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, but Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said there is no problem in screening the movie in cinema halls in the state.
Despite threats by the Karni Sena to disrupt the film's release, the Uttar Pradesh government has not issued any orders regarding ban on its screening.
A delegation of Karni Sena had also met Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in Dehradun earlier this week, but no announcement has been made yet.
Asked if they were ready to watch the film pre-release to clear their doubts, Solanki said: "The whole projection of our community is wrong. We do not want to see the film. It should be banned."
The film, cleared by the CBFC after five modifications and renamed from "Padmavati" to "Padmavat" and now titled "Padmaavat", is scheduled to release on January 25 across India.
CBFC gave it the green signal with a U/A certification in consultation with a three-member advisory panel.
The Rajput outfit had first expressed concern after Ranveer Singh -- one of the three lead actors of the movie -- made a casual statement back in July 2016.
He was reportedly asked if he was playing the role of a villain in the film, and he had said that he could go two notches beyond playing the role of a villain if he was given two intimate scenes with the film's leading lady Deepika Padukone.
This led to the question whether the movie showcases any intimacy between Khilji and Rani Padmavati. Subsequently, Karni Sena activists assaulted Bhansali on the film's set in Jaipur and another set in Kolhapur was vandalised.
They even threatened Deepika and Bhansali.
(With IANS Inputs)