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.
"Some of the bus windows shattered and terrified kids cried for help. Fortunately none of the children was hurt in the attack," Kumar said.
He said the situation was now under control.
In another incident, attackers torched a bus in Sohna. They also pelted stones on a fire tender and forced it back when it came to douse the fire.
Despite prohibitory orders in Gurgaon, hundreds of Shree Rajput Karni Sena supporters also protested at Kherki Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Haryana ahead of the release of 'Padmaavat' on Thursday, with the state police deploying additional force at cinema halls and multiplexes where the film is to be screened. Haryana Home Secretary SS Prasad infirmed that orders have been issued to district police chiefs to ensure nobody takes law into his hands.
The precautionary measures have been taken as fears of violence mounted against the release of the film.
"We have directed the police to deploy appropriate and adequate forces around cinema halls and multiplexes in the state," the Home Secretary said.
A meeting of senior officials, including Haryana Police chief BS Sandhu, was held in Chandigarh to discuss security arrangements.
Sandhu said that SPs have been told to take "necessary action" to maintain law and order and deploy additional forces.
"The district administration depending upon the situation can also impose (prohibitory orders under) Section 144 of the CrPC if they so feel," he said.
He said the Haryana administration has not called for central forces and urged people not to indulge in hooliganism.
As a precautionary measure, prohibitory orders have been ordered in areas near multiplexes and cinema halls at a few places in the state, including Gurgaon, Panchkula, Sirsa, Kurukshetra and Karnal.
The protesters claim the film distorts history and portrays the character of Rani Padmavati in "poor light". The filmmakers have denied the allegations.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday said the state government would implement the Supreme Court order staying the ban the state had imposed on the film. The Supreme Court's recent order had paved the way for the all-India release of the movie. The apex court had stayed notifications and orders issued by Gujarat and Rajasthan prohibiting the exhibition of 'Padmaavat'.
The film stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.