Padmaavat: Gujarat Police warns protesters of use of force

Groups such as the Karni Sena and the Mahakal Sena have threatened to set fire to cinema halls showing Padmaavat, which was banned by the state government.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 17:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Monday
Padmaavat,Padmaavat release,Gujarat
Karni Sena members protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film 'Padmaavat' near Jyoti Cinema Hall in Muzaffarpur on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

The Gujarat Police on Monday warned protesters it would not hesitate to use force as highways were blocked and buses damaged in the state by Rajput castes groups opposing the release of Hindi film Padmaavat.

With the controversial period drama set for release on January 25, police have initiated legal action against protesters, who claim the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film misrepresents history and insults Padmavati or Padmini, a legendary Rajput queen.

“No one would be allowed to break law. Patrolling vans will also do videography and all the miscreants will be booked,” director general of Police Pramod Kumar told media, as a theatre was vandalised in the city.

Groups such as the Karni Sena and the Mahakal Sena have threatened to set fire to cinema halls showing the film, which was banned by the state government.

The Supreme Court, however, struck down the ban in Gujarat and other states and said the governments were responsible for the safety of people and cinemas.

The Multiplex Owners Association has decided not to screen the film but that has not stopped protests or vandalism.

State transport buses were not allowed to ply in north Gujarat. Buses were damaged and tyres burnt in Surat on Sunday, with police also getting reports of protesters misbehaving with women.

“The way protests happened, it seemed a conspiracy. The police have booked 25 persons and conducting inquiries against leaders, who hatched the conspiracy,” Surat commissioner of police Satish Sharma said.

The situation was brought under control but in future, police would not shy away from using force, he said.

The Samast Rajput Samaj has threatened to gherao the BJP headquarters in Gujarat, saying the film should not be released in the state.

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear appeals by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments on modify its order that allowed the release of Padmaavat.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 17:26 IST