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Padmaavat row: Films that hurt religious sentiments shouldn't be made, says Digvijaya Singh

Controversial statement by senior Congress leader.

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 Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today said that films that hurt religious sentiments of people and which are not based on historical facts should not be made.

Singh's remarks came after he was asked about the controversy over the film "Padmaavat", which was released today. The Sanjay Leela Bansali directed period drama evoked sharp reactions from particular groups, including the Karni Sena, which were against its screening. "Films that hurt the the sentiments of people of a particular religion or caste and which are not based on historical facts should not be made," he told reporters.

Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, is currently undertaking the 'Narmada Yatra' in the state. Tension was palpable across cinema halls in the country following the film's release, with violence gripping several states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. 

The Delhi High Court today rejected a plea by a Rajasthan-based group seeking quashing of the certification granted to controversial Bollywood film 'Padmaavat', saying the Supreme Court had permitted its release.

The film, which hit the theaters today, is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles and is based on the saga of a historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

The petition opposing the U/A certification granted to the film was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar by the Jauhar Smriti Sansthan, a group based in Chittorgarh in Rajasthan. The bench, however, declined to hear the matter and asked the petitioner group to move the apex court as it had permitted the screening of the film, which hit the theatres today.

The impending release of the movie led to several incidents of vandalism over the past few days, including an attack on a school bus in Gurugram and torching of a Haryana Roadways bus yesterday. The set of the movie was vandalised twice -- in Jaipur and Kolhapur, while its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was roughed up by members of the Karni Sena last year.

The group's general secretary, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, who mentioned the plea before the bench owing to a lawyers' strike in the high court, later told themedia that he will move the apex court today itself. Bhati told the bench that a plea was moved before the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), which had declined to hear the matter saying it was not maintainable and had asked them to move the high court.

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