A ticket counter at Indira Theatre was set on fire by activists protesting against the release of film 'Padmaavat', in Jammu.(PTI Photo)
A ticket counter at Indira Theatre was set on fire by activists protesting against the release of film 'Padmaavat', in Jammu.(PTI Photo)

Padmaavat protests Highlights: Security in UP, Haryana bolstered ahead of release; Mamata calls for peace

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2018 11:39 PM IST

Protesters stepped up their campaign against period drama Padmaavat on Wednesday, a day ahead of its nationwide release, prompting theatre owners in several states to hold off from screening the movie.

Acts of vandalism were reported from states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana following overnight protests and arson in Gujarat. State police chiefs promised increased protection for cinema halls on Thursday but the movie will not be screened in the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Goa, the Multiplex Association of India said. The protests are being spearheaded by Rajput groups and their allies unhappy with the depiction of legendary queen Padmini in the movie.

Just 15 kms away from the national capital, a Haryana Roadways bus carrying 25 passengers was burnt by about 50-60 protesters. Stones were thrown at a school bus in Gurgaon, leading to minor injuries to some students, the police said.

The Congress termed the attack on the school bus as “reprehensible” and “devastating” and attacked the Haryana government for the “deteriorating law and order situation”.

Below are the highlights:

10:58pm: There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP’s use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire, tweets Congress president Rahul Gandhi

10:50pm: Security forces deployed at multiplexes in Dehradun ahead of the release of Padmaavat

9:42pm: Khattar govt has failed to maintain law and order on all fronts. It’s govts’ duty to uphold SC’s order. If they’re failing, they have no right to be in power: Congress ledaer Randeep Surjewala

8:20 pm: A car caught fire during anti- Padmaavat protests at Jyoti Talkies Square, one of the busiest crossings in Bhopal. Police say they were investigating whether the protesters torched the vehicle.

8:15pm: Gurgaon police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar to ANI: Adequate police force has been deployed. There were incidents where a school bus was vandalised and a Haryana Roadway bus was torched. 13 people detained have been detained and action will be taken

8:10pm: Section 144 has been imposed in district. It’ll be in effect till 28th Jan. Executive Magistrates and police forces deployed at sensitive places. We’ve appealed people to protest peacefully, if they must. No order to close school, colleges and bars: Vinay Pratap Singh, Gurugaon DM

7:30pm: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee appeals for peace, says she will be happy if Padmaavat is screened in her state.

7:17pm: Law and order situation is under control in Haryana, ANI quotes Mohd. Akil, ADGP, law and order, Haryana, as saying. “At some places people tried to take law in their hands, situation has been controlled promptly and action has been initiated against the hooligans,” he adds.

7:15pm: Haryana Police say maximum possible preventive arrangements have been implemented for tomorrow. “Issued directions to field units, additional police forces has been sent out with direction that law and order shall be maintained throughout the state,” says Mohd. Akil, ADGP Law & Order, Haryana.

7pm: A school bus of GD Goenka was attacked in Gurgaon amidst protests against the movie.

6:50pm: In the face of violent protests, the Multiplex Association of India says its members will not screen Padmaavat in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.

6:45pm: Security forces are being deployed outside INOX Gurgaon Dreamz in Gurgaon in view of the release of Padmavaat tomorrow.

6:30pm: 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 say.

6:15pm: Group of men vandalise cinema theatre in Jammu and attempt to set it on fire, police say.

6pm: Deputy commissioner of police for Gurgaon clarifies that no order has been issued to close clubs and bars at 7 pm today. “Situation is peaceful and schools, colleges and offices to open normally tomorrow,” the DC’s office posted on Twitter.

5:02pm: Protests in Rajasthan take place near Chittorgarh Fort for a second day in a row.

4:12pm: Police detain around 20 Karni Sena members in Nashik as they gathered near Gangapur dam. A leader of the Rajput prganisation had earlier threatened they would drown themselves in the dam in protest against the movie.

4:01pm: Meerut Police on lookout for about 10 masked men who came to pelt stones at PVS mall. “We will provide security to the mall at the time of screening of the film,” ANI quotes Chakrapani Tripathi, circle officer, civil lines, as saying.

4pm: Protesters torch bus and pelt stones on Gurgaon’s Sohna Road.

3:40pm: In Lucknow, Wave multiplex cinema puts up notice saying it has cancelled Wednesday’s premiere show of Padmaavat. The notice follows an attempted immolation bid outside it.

As protests raged, another fringe group, the Kanpur Kshatriya Mahasabha announced a cash reward to anyone who chops off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose.

3:30pm: Protesters pelt stones at a mall in Meerut allegedly in protest against Padmaavat. Police reach spot to investigate matter.

3:10pm: Stones pelted at PVS mall in Merrut allegedly to protest against Padmaavat. Police has been deployed on the spot, while an investigation is underway: ANI.

3:00pm: Jaipur police commissioner Sanjay Agarwal has asked the police personnel, entrusted with ensuring the security of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival from Thursday, to taking additional precautions after Shree Rajput Karni Sena’s warned that it will protest against the presence of CBFC chief Prashoon Joshi at the festival.

2:45pm: “Our last hope is the Prime Minister and President. I still have expectations from the Prime Minister. I am hoping a miracle will happen today before 6:00 pm and our Prime Minister will speak up,” BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu tells ANI.

2:20pm: According to ANI, 48 protesters have been arrested in Ahmedabad.

2:10pm: Around 100 Karni Sena supporters have been placed under preventive detention in Mumbai, police say.

1:45pm: Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi calls for “self-imposed curfew by people” to oppose Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie. “We are adamant on our stand that this film Padmavaat should be banned. January 25 may come and go but we won’t let the film release, come what may,” IANS quoted him as he saying.

1:41pm: Security tightened around Gurgaon’s SRS cinemas.

1:40pm: In Mathura, protesters stop a train at Bhuteshwar railway station, reports ANI.

1:35pm: Security is tightened outside Wave cinemas in Lucknow as protests pick up momentum against Bollywood movie Padmaavat, reports ANI.

1:23pm:

1:17pm: Television news channels report that the Karni Sena has blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway.

1:13pm: Protesters block Gurgaon’s Wazirpur-Pataudi road over the release of the controversial film Padmaavat.

12:50pm: State media in charge of Karni Sena Rajpratap Singh says “police are trying their best to curb our protest. We are not being allowed to take out a rally or stage a protest. There is ‘nakabandi’ all around and strict police arrangements have been made in this town.”

12:46pm: Police raided the residences of Karni Sena Chittorgarh unit president Govind Singh Khangarot and vice-president Kamlendu Singh Solanki at 11 pm on Tuesday and arrested them. Devendra Singh, one of the main members of the organisation, was also arrested.

12:45pm: Police arrested the Chittorgarh unit chief of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, after its spokesperson declared that over 1,900 women of the community are “ready” to commit “jauhar” or mass immolation as part of protests.

11:30am: Security tightened in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh ahead of release of the film: ANI.

11:06am: Advocate ML Sharma mentions a plea before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, seeking the deletion of certain scenes from Padmaavat. The Supreme Court declines an urgent hearing; says will hear Sharma on Monday.

10:43am: Karni Sena, which has been leading protests against ‘Padmaavat’, has named a six-member panel comprising erstwhile royals and historians to watch the film ahead of its release even as fringe outfits demand an ordinance banning the movie.

10:37am: After facing controversies over several days, the makers of ‘Padmaavat’ screened the movie for a group of journalists in the national capital on Tuesday. Read the Hindustan Times review of Padmaavat.

10:20am: At least 16 people have been arrested from Ahmedabad after a mob went on a rampage outside Himalaya Mall in the city to protest against the release of ‘Padmaavat’. “The CCTV footage will be examined and more arrests will be made,” a senior official told the media.

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