To lodge protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati, the entry to the famous Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan has been closed. Protesters claim that makers of Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor starrer movie have distorted the historical facts.
"We have closed the first gate known as Padan Pol gate since 10 a.m. We are not allowing anyone to enter the fort. It is a peaceful protest and will continue till 6 p.m.," said a member of Sarv Samaj Protest Committee, Ranjit Singh. Tourists visiting the fort were requested to go back, he said. On an average over 3,000-4,000 tourists visit the fort starting from October, as the tourist season picks up. "We have just started our protest and around 400-450 people are sitting on dharna outside the gate. The number is likely to increase as the day progresses," said K.K. Sharma, a member of the protest committee.
The police, however, said the number of protestors was not more than 250. The protestors demand that the movie, based on the life of Rani Padmini or Padmavati, who was queen of Chittorgarh, should not be released. "It is for the first time since Independence that the entry to the fort has been blocked," claimed another member of the committee. There is heavy police presence to deal with any untoward incident. Barricades have been put up outside the fort.
A Karni Sena leader on Thursday threatened actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the lead in the movie, with physical harm over her "provocative statements". Earlier this week in an interview to IANS, Deepika said: "The only people we are answerable to is the censor board, and I know and I believe that nothing can stop the release of this film." A Brahmin group also conducted a signature campaign in blood demanding a ban on the film. Even the Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer has issued a statement requesting a ban. Activists of the Karni Sena had on Tuesday vandalised a theatre in Kota, Rajasthan, over reports that it was showing a trailer of Padmavati.
Earlier in January, activists of the Karni Sena manhandled with the crew and assaulted the director, Bhansali during the shooting in Jaipur. They also damaged cameras and other equipments. In March, some miscreants broke the mirrors in the Padmini Mahal in Chittorgarh Fort. It is believed that Alauddin Khilji saw Rani Padmavati or Padmini's reflection here. Karni Sena says that the mirror story is orchestrated.
(With IANS inputs)