A mob vandalised the sets of Hindi film Padmavati at Maharashtra’s Panhala fort, police said on Wednesday, the latest controversy to hit a movie that has angered some Hindu groups.
Kolhapur police said they were looking out for unidentified persons, who broke into the set and damaged property and vehicles. The incident came to light on Wednesday morning when the shooting team reached the spot but the extent of the damage is yet to be determined.
The film’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, shifted to the historic fort in Panhala after running into trouble in Jaipur in January, when members of the Rajput Karni Sena smashed equipment and assaulted the movie crew. The attackers were upset with the portrayal of Rani Padmavati or Padmini, who is a respected figure in the Rajput community.
The movie stars Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone playing 14th-century emperor Alauddin Khilji and Chittor queen Rani Padmini, respectively. The Karni Sena objected to alleged intimate scenes between Khilji and Padmini.
The first attack took place at Jaipur’s Jaigarh fort when scores of Karni Sena members barged into the sets and assaulted movie staff, including Bhansali. In a video that went viral, protesters were seen running amok, damaging cameras and other shooting equipment while shouting slogans and spewing abuses in Hindi.
The incident triggered outrage and drew condemnation from the Bollywood fraternity but Bhansali soon appeared to reach a compromise with the protesters by agreeing to delete the intimate sequences.
The protests reignited a debate over growing intolerance in the country as Bollywood celebrities and social media railed against the assault on the film’s crew.
According to historians, Padmavati was a character in Padmawat, a book written by Malik Mohammad Jaisi around 1550, and it has no connection with history at all.