A day ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat', the Shree Rajput Karni Sena continued to fiercely oppose the controversy-mired film with its chief patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi insisting that a 'Janta curfew' will be imposed on theatres screening the movie.
Kalvi also sought to pin the blame for the widespread violence, reportedly carried out at many places by members of his outfit, on film director Bhansali. He rejected reports that some Karni Sena members had watched the film ahead of its release terming them as rumours.
A Janta curfew will be imposed at any cost in film halls to stop the film's screening, Kalvi said, adding that a dream sequence between the characters of Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati existed in the controversial film. The filmmakers, however, have assured in the past that no dream sequence exists in the movie. There is no such dream sequence in the movie, according to a PTI journalist who has seen the film.
The film was earlier slated to hit the silver screens on December 1 last year, but it was deferred by the filmmakers. The Censor Board of Film Certification (CPRF)-led by Prasoon Joshi later cleared the film after recommending some changes, including the name from Padmaavati to Padmaavat.
The film, which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of the historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.
As it happened on Jan 24 (Wednesday):
# Several schools including GD Goenka World School, Sohna Road, Lotus Valley School, Ardee School and The Shri Ram School, Aravalli have announced that they will remain shut on Jan 25.
There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP's use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 24, 2018
# Karni Sena women members seek President's permission for 'jauhar'
Women members of Rajput Karni Sena submitted letters to Ratlam district administration, urging President Ram Nath Kovind to either stop its screening or permit them to end their lives. The letters allege that the film presents Rani Padmavati in a wrong manner.
# Protests held in MP against Padmaavat
Protest against the controversial film spread to Madhya Pradesh as various fringe outfits staged demonstrations in Indore and other towns and blocked national a highway. Nearly 200 protesters blocked National Highway-3, which links Agra with Mumbai, near Pigdambar crossing in Kishanganj area in Indore district and broke glass bottles on the road.
Heated arguments ensued between the protesters, who included members of Karni Sena, and the police when the Rajput group members tried to stop vehicles as part of their protest.
Around 50 Karni Sena activists armed with sticks burnt an effigy of Bhansali, the film's director, on Indore-Depalpur road. Agitations were also carried out in Sagar, Guna, Bhopal, Ratlam and other towns in Madhya Pradesh against the movie.
# Fringe outfit announces bounty on Deepika Padukone's nose
In a shocking development a day before the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film 'Padmaavat', an outfit in Kanpur announced a cash reward for anyone chopping off actor Deepika Padukone's nose.
"We have collected a bounty of crores of rupees from Kanpurites to be given as reward to anyone who will bring the chopped off nose of Deepika Padukone," Kanpur Kshatriya Mahasabha president Gajendra Singh Rajawat said.
Earlier, a Meerut resident from the Kshatriya community had announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone for allegedly "wrongfully portraying" queen Padmini in the film 'Padmavati'.
# Congress attacks Khattar govt over violence
The way the school bus was attacked, another bus torched can't be forgiven. Khattar govt failed to maintain law & order on all fronts. It's govts' duty to uphold SC's order. If they're failing, they have no right to be in power: Randeep Surjewala, Congress
# Haryana CM says cinema halls should not screen Padmaavat
Haryana CM had earlier said seeing the public sentiments, that cinema halls should not screen the movie. But SC gave the order, SC order is binding & CM has said that those cinema halls who want to screen the movie will be provided security: Anil Vij,Haryana Minister
# Protesters attack school bus in Gurgaon
Around 20-25 students of Gurgaon-based GD Goenka World School had a narrow escape when a frenzied mob protesting the release of Bollywood film 'Padmaavat' attacked their bus. Students were on their way home when a group of around 60 protesters attacked the bus with bamboo sticks asking the driver to stop the vehicle. When the driver did not comply, the miscreants pelted the vehicle with stones apparently to hurt the children.
Ravinder Kumar, PRO, Gurgaon Police said that school bus staffer asked the kids to crawl under seats for safety and directed the driver to not stop it.
# Security beefed up in Haryana
Security has been tightened in Haryana ahead of the release of controversial film 'Padmaavat', with the state police deploying additional force at cinema halls and multiplexes where the film is to be screened. Orders have been issued to district police chiefs to ensure nobody takes law into his hands, Haryana Home Secretary SS Prasad said.
The precautionary measures have been taken as fears of violence mounted against the release of the film. The protesters - associated with the Karni Sena and other Rajput groups - today torched a state-run bus and blocked the Delhi-Jaipur national highway in Gurgaon.
# Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appeals for peace, says she will be happy if "Padmaavat" is screened in West Bengal.
The Multiplex Association of India said that its members would not screen the period drama in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. The decision of the association, which represents about 75 per cent of the multiplex owners in the country, came as Rajput outfits and other fringe elements vandalised malls, burned vehicles, and issued open threats to theatre owners and public in their bid to stall its release, claiming distortion of history.
"We have decided not to play the film in four states Rajasthan, Gujarat, MP and Goa -- as the local management has told us that the law and order situation is not conducive. For us safety of patrons is important. Depending on the scenario, we will see if the atmosphere is safe, then we will play it (in these four states). Things could change (but) at the moment we are looking at safety of people," Deepak Asher, president of the association, said.
# Ticket counter of Indra Cinemas in Jammu vandalized
# Rail tracks blocked in Mathura
Members of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena blocked the Mathura-Agra route of the North Central Railway at Bhuteshwar station for about 10 minutes in a "symbolic protest" against controversial film Padmaavat.
"The agitators blocked a passenger train between Delhi and Mathura, for over 10 minutes at Bhuteshwar station in Mathura district," GRP Inspector Gaurav Kumar Sharma said.
# Bars, pubs will not be shut in Gurgaon, say police
Bars and pubs will not be shut in wake of protests ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film 'Padmaavat' tomorrow, Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said today. He made the statement while denying reports that the bars and pubs have been ordered shut.
"We have already imposed (prohibitory orders under) Section 144 of the CrPC in the city but not directed pubs and bars to shut. All pubs and bars will remain open. The police are undertaking adequate patrolling," Singh said.
Hundreds of Karni Sena supporters and other outfits opposed to the film today staged protests near the Khidki-Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Jaipur national highway. Gurgaon Police chief PRO Manish Sehgal said the agitation ended after the police removed the protesters from the scene. There are more than 40 multiplexes and cinema halls in Gurgaon.
# Chittorgarh Fort shuts down for visitors
A Haryana Roadways bus was set on fire today near village Bhondsi in Gurgaon allegedly by activists of Karni Sena, who were protesting against the release of film 'Padmaavat'. This latest incident of hooliganism occurred despite Haryana Police claims that nobody would be allowed to disrupt peace in the state in the wake of the controversial movie's release on Jan 25.
A group of activists torched the Haryana Roadways bus near village Bhondsi on the Sohna road here, police said. "A bus was burnt in the incident," said a police official in Gurgaon adding that there was no loss of life in the incident.
# Karni Sena remains defiant
A day ahead of the release of 'Padmaavat', the Shree Rajput Karni Sena continued to fiercely oppose the controversy-mired film with its chief patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi insisting that a 'Janta curfew' will be imposed on theatres screening the movie. Kalvi also sought to pin the blame for the widespread violence, reportedly carried out at many places by members of his outfit, on film director Bhansali.
He rejected reports that some Karni Sena members had watched the film ahead of its release terming them as rumours. "This is not true and we are firm on our stand against the film," he said.
A Janta curfew will be imposed at any cost in film halls to stop the film's screening, Kalvi said, adding that Shiv Sena leaders had assured the Karni Sena of support on the issue in Maharashtra. "Janta curfew will be imposed on film halls at any cost. We are getting support of film hall owners and film distributors," Kalvi said.
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".
# Karni Sena activists detained in Nashik
Police today detained around 20 activists of the Karni Sena for protesting against controversial film Padmaavat. A leader of the Rajput organisation had earlier threatened that the activists would take a 'jal samadhi' (drown themselves) in the Gangapur dam, located around 10 kms from the district headquarters.
As the protesters gathered today near the Gangapur dam, they were detained, Nashik taluka police station inspector Babasaheb Thombe said.
# Gujarat: Theatres, multiplexes not to screen Padmaavat
Theatre owners in Gujarat today said 'Padmaavat' will not be screened in any of the multiplexes or single screens in the state till the row over the film is resolved, even as police arrested 50 people in connection with the violence outside malls here last night.
The Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association said the decision has been taken for the safety of customers as well as to save their property.
Protesters opposing the release of the controversial film yesterday torched at least 30 motorcycles and damaged several other vehicles parked outside three city malls. Around 15 people were arrested late last night and 35 more were taken into custody today on charges of arson and rioting.
11:03 am: SC to hear another petition seeking deletion of scenes in Padmaavat. Chief Justice of India has agreed to list the case for hearing on Monday. SC refused to give an urgent hearing to the plea.
11:01 am: Incidents took place at 3-4 locations simultaneously. Police managed to stop protesters frm entering multiplexes and malls. 48 people were picked up last night from various locations under act of rioting. Key conspirators identified after interrogation, 4 FIRs registered: AK Singh, CP, Ahmedabad
The lavishly-mounted film, starring Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Ranveer Singh as Allaudin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh, will hit screens on January 25.