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Padmaavat: Ranchi multiplexes assured of security day after Karni Sena’s threat

Movie hall owners in Ranchi now seem unwilling to screen the film after Karni Sena supporters flexed their muscles on Sunday.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 13:59 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Padmaavat,Rajput Karni Sena,Ranchi movie hall
One for the camera. Rajput Karni Sena pose after tearing down posters of Padmaavat in a movie hall in Ranchi. (HT PHOTO)

The Ranchi administration on Monday assured multiplex owners of adequate protection to screen Padmaavat which releases on January 25.

The assurance came a day after Rajput Karni Sena (RKS) supporters tore posters and banners of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat at a cinema hall in the Jharkhand capital Sunday evening and ‘appealed’ to theatre owners not to screen the film.

Ranchi deputy commissioner Manoj Kumar said multiplex owners met him on Monday seeking protection. “I assured them to deploy additional forces during the release of the film. I spoke to senior superintendent of police, Ranchi and decided to depute extra forces at cinema halls at least for four-five days so that movie goers do not face any problem.”

But Sunday’s strong-arm tactic by the Karni Sena seems to have worked for the protesters with theatre owners saying they may not exhibit the movie and would take decision in this regard in a day or two. On Saturday, multiplex owners in Gujarat said they would not screen Padmaavat after threats by groups led by the Karni Sena.

“All 40 theatre owners of Ranchi have given us written assurance by signing on our memorandum that they would not exhibit the movie. Despite that, posters and banners were found in a cinema hall. The irate workers tore the posters, which was a message for hall owners in Jharkhand,” said Mukesh Singh Rajput, president of the Ranchi wing of the RKS.

Theatres owners said they would restrain from showing the movie if protests continued. “We may not exhibit the movie if protests continue. It is being said the movie hurts people’s sentiment. So, we have to think about it twice,” said Dushyant Jaiswal of the movie hall Suajata where Karni Sena supporters tore the posters.

“It was not possible for district administration to provide security to every cinema hall in Ranchi. We will take decision on exhibiting the movie in a day or two,” he said.

Karni Sena supporters hand over a memorandum to a movie hall owner in Ranchi. (HT PHOTO)

The Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor-starrer film, initially titled Padmavati, was slated to release on December 1 but was postponed due to protests in BJP-ruled states. The movie is now scheduled to be released on January 25 as Padmavat after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared it. On January 18, the Supreme Court set aside the ban on the film by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The apex court also directed the state governments to provide security to cinema halls.

But Rajput said that only minor change in the title of the movie would not make any difference. “The movie has already hurt the sentiment of our community. Therefore, we have requested the theatre owners to respect public sentiment and stop it from screening. All hall owners have responded to our call and assured that they would not exhibit the movie,” he said.

The Karni Sena claims that there are 12 lakh Rajputs in Jharkhand.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha (ABKM) and other right wing outfits have called a meeting on Tuesday to chalk strategy against the movie.

Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha (ABKM) general secretary Nandkishore Chandel said, “We will take to street if the movie was released in Jharkhand. To decide our protest strategy, we have called a meeting on Tuesday.” He alleged that historical facts have been distorted in the movie.

In November last year, ABKM along with several right wing organizations including Hindu Jagran Manch and Hindu Mahasabha had protested the movie by staging rallies and tearing film posters.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 10:27 IST