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Amid Rajput protests, cinemas refuse to screen Padmaavat in Haridwar

Kshatriya Mahasabha has threatened that cinema halls releasing the film in Uttarakhand will have to face ’dire consequences’

dehradun Updated: Jan 22, 2018 22:23 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times, Haridwar
Rajput protests,Padmaavat,Haridwar
Kshatriya Mahasabha organised a protest against Padmaavat in Haridwar on Monday.(HT FILE/AP)

Even as the state government has maintained a “neutral” stand on ‘Padmaavat’, slated for all-India release on Thursday, Kshatriya Mahasabha, a body of Rajput community people, has threatened that cinema halls releasing the film in Uttarakhand will have to face “dire consequences”.

The Rajput body, which has a sizeable presence in the district, organised a protest in Haridwar on Monday.

“Come what may, we will not let the cinema halls release the film,” said Rajendra Chauhan, the district president of Kshatriya Mahasabha.

The police said they are keeping an eye on the situation.

Chauhan said Rajputs have requested chief minister TS Rawat to respect the community feelings. “Rajput’s identity and traditions have been hurt by indecent theme and portrayal of queen Padmavati. She has been shown dancing in the open, which is not acceptable,” he said.

Amid protest by Rajput, owners of two cinema halls in Roorkee — Neelam and RR Cinema — have said they will “respect” the community sentiments and not screen the film.

“We have decided not to screen Padmaavat film taking into considerations the ongoing anti-Padmaavat sentiment. A delegation of Rajput community met us and urged not to screen the controversial film,” said Lalit Goyal, the manager of RR Cinema.

At Bhagwanpur also, a large number of people, led by the Rajput Sabha leaders, staged a protest and burned posters of Padaamvat and an effigy of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

In a press statement, Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha’s organisation secretary Pradeep Chauhan said that films are meant for healthy entertainment and not for creating division within the country and glorifying a Muslim conqueror.

Haridwar superintendent of police Mamta Vohra said that security will be provided to the cinemas screening Padmaavat and no one will be allowed to take law into their hands.

Karani Sena president Lokendra Singh had visited Dehradun on January 9 and met chief minister TS Rawat. Singh had expressed hope that Uttarakhand, which has over 60% population of Rajputs, would stand with the community. However, Rawat has maintained a “neutral’ stand from beginning.

The Supreme Court has prohibited states from banning the film.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 22:23 IST