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School bus attacked, cinema halls vandalised: From Gurugram to Ahmedabad, protests rock India ahead of Padmaavat release

Right-wing groups on Wednesday mounted violent protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmaavat

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With only hours left for the release of the controversial Bollywood film 'Padmaavat,' various right-wing groups on Wednesday mounted violent protests across the country, attacking buses and vandalising cinema halls.  Despite the heavy police presence, rioters blocked roads, pelted stones and torched buses to protest the Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film. 

The film has been facing protests by Shree Rajput Karni Sena and various other groups over allegations that historical facts were distorted in the period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapur and Ranveer Singh.

The Karni Sena chief patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi today said 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. 

Here are some of the places that faced massive protests over the film: 

Haryana: 

A Haryana Roadways bus was set on fire today near village Bhondsi on the Sohna road in Gurgurgram allegedly by activists of Karni Sena.

A school bus carrying children was also attacked by vandals protesting the release of the film. 

 

Protesters also blocked Delhi-Jaipur highway and Gurgaon's Wazirpur-Pataudi road by burning tyres. 

Haryana police have deployed heavy force outside malls and cinema halls in Gurugram. "Law and Order situation under control," a top cop said. 

Rajasthan: 

Since the Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan forms the setting of 'Padmaavat,' protesters also gathered there to protest against the film. Owing to protests, the Chittorgarh Fort was also closed briefly.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria today said many cinema halls in Rajasthan are not screening the film. 


Women protest in Chittorgarh against Padmaavat release, DNA 

Police have enforced tight security for protests planned by the Karni Sena and other Rajput groups, Rajasthan police chief, OP Galhotra, said.

Madhya Pradesh:

Various fringe outfits staged demonstrations in different parts of Madhya Pradesh including Indore. 

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, police said.

 

Agitations were also carried out in Sagar, Guna, Bhopal, Ratlam and other towns in Madhya Pradesh against the movie.

Maharashtra: 

In Mumbai, Police have boosted security at all theatres screening the film and detained more than 100 members of protesting groups, including those from Karni Sena.

More people are likely to be taken into preventive custody, a senior police official said.

A righwing group protests against Padmaavat release in Patna, PTI

Violent protest reached Pune as well as the protesters disrupted traffic movement on Mumbai- Bengaluru national highway and damaged some vehicles on Tuesday night. Police arrested 15 protesters for creating ruckus and damaging properties.

Police detained around 20 activists of the Karni Sena in Nashik for protesting against "Padmaavat" release. 

Gujarat: 

The protesters opposing the release of the controversial film yesterday torched at least 30 motorcycles and damaged several other vehicles parked outside three Ahmedabad malls. 

As many as 30 bikes and scooters, parked outside three multiplexes in the city, were set ablaze by protesters last night, the city's fire control room said.

To control the situation, police had fired two rounds in the air and also lobbed tear gas shells, Joint Commissioner of Police J K Bhatt said.

Mob Set fire on vehicle and vandalized shops against Padmavat release in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Hanif Sindhi/DNA

After the large-scale violence yesterday, the Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association today announced that the movie will not be released at any of their theatres.

The decision has been taken for the safety of customers as well as to save their property, the association's president, Manubhai Patel, said, adding that even the owners of single-screen theatres have informed the association that they will refrain from screening.

Uttar Pradesh: 

Several places in UP, including Lucknow, Meerut and Kanpur witnessed protests outside cinema halls on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Protesters claiming to be from Karni Sena turned up at malls and theatres in Lucknow to protest 'Padmaavat' release. Security has been tightened outside cinema halls in anticipation of more violent protests. 

In Meerut, stones were pelted at PVS mall. 

On Tuesday, Kanpur witnessed a large gathering of protesters as agitated members of an outfit barged into the mall demanding a complete ban on the film. 

 

"They tore film posters, damaged property and manhandled the mall staff", Station House Officer (SHO), Kakadev, Ajay Kumar Singh told PTI.

Jammu: 

Protests against the film reached the farthest corner of North India including Jammu where a cinema hall was vandalised by protesters. 

 

Ticket counter of Indra Cinemas in Jammu was vandalized by protesters raising slogans against Padmaavat.

 

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