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State keeps date with Padmaavat

Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmaavat, facing opposition from Rajput organisations in the country, was screened peacefully in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Jan 25, 2018 20:36 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Dehradun/Haridwar
Padmaavat,Sanjay Leela Bhansali,Rajput organisations
Policemen on duty at a theatre in Dehradun on Thursday.(HT Photo)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmaavat, facing opposition from Rajput organisations in the country, was screened peacefully in Uttarakhand, albeit a minor scuffle between police and protesters in Rishikesh on Thursday.

In Dehradun, the film was shown at six theatres and evoked “good response”. Additional director general of police (law and order) Ashok Kumar said that screening of the film went off peacefully in the state, as the police had declared “zero tolerance” against the law violators. “We had zero tolerance toward mischief mongers and issued appeals not to indulge in violence that was taken well by the people and the screening was held in an amiable atmosphere,” said Kumar.

However, in pre-emptive steps, the police had arrested five people in the state under section 151.

Earlier, there were calls from Rajput organisations to protest the film. But following appeals by the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) to refrain from any violent protest, the organisations decided to stay away from the protests. Sagar Raghuvanshi of the Yuva Sena, which had been vocal against the film, said that they did not conduct any formal protest, as they did not want to create a law and order problem.

In Rishikesh, some protesters scuffled with police while trying to reach a theatre. The police arrested the protesters.

In Haridwar, Padmaavat was screened at a cineplex amid tight security. The film was screened at the lone cineplex at SIDCUL industrial estate amid presence of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and police personnel. No poster or hoarding clips were put up at the venue on precautionary measure.

A few days ago, Sun City Cineplex in Bahadrabad (Roorkee) and a theatre had announced not to screen Padmaavat despite the police assurance of protection. Superintendent of Police (Haridwar) Mamta Vohra said, “Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha state organizational secretary Pradeep Chauhan, along with eight other people, were arrested on Wednesday, as they were holding a secret meeting to plan protest and disruption of the film screening.”

In the Kumaon region too, screening of the film went peacefully. Though, a few organisations gave a memorandum to the police against the film. A protestor, Harikrishna Kimothi, who was taken into custody a few days ago for threatening immolation against the film screening, did not go hunger strike in the custody, as announced by him earlier.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 20:35 IST