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Padmaavat protests: Heavy deployment of police in Gurgaon, thin presence at schools

Several schools, including GD Goenka, Pathways, Gems and Roseland, decided to remain closed after the violence on Wednesday. Some of them decided to remain closed until January 29.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2018 11:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
Padmaavat,Padmaavat Protests,Gurgaon
Gurgaon was on high alert and prohibitory orders imposed to prevent any kind of protest or demonstration near cinema halls or multiplexes ahead of the official release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmaavat on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

olice in Gurgaon on Thursday deployed hundreds of personnel at theatres, malls and bus stand in the city after fringe groups vowed to disrupt the release of Padmaavat, the Bollywood film about a legendary Rajput queen.

“The situation is under control and adequate police have been deployed at sensitive places across the city,” the spokesperson of Gurgaon Police Ravinder Kumar said.

Kumar added that anyone who indulges in vandalism would be put behind bars and no one will be spared for breaking law and order.

Police have also been deployed in localities and villages that have a large Rajput population where trouble could erupt, as a preventive measure. They claim the film distorts history and is disrespectful to legendary queen Padmavati.

Rajputs are primarily based in Sohna, Bhondsi, Ghamdauj, Sultanpur and Farrukhnagar and adjoining areas in the district.

Several schools, including GD Goenka, Pathways, Gems and Roseland, have decided to remain closed after the violence on Wednesday. Some of them have decided to remain closed until January 29.

Students of a private school had a narrow escape when protesters attacked two buses in Gurgaon on Wednesday allegedly protesting against the controversial period drama.

However, a large majority of schools that are open witnessed thin attendance as wary parents decided to keep children at home.

Pawan Kumar, a resident of Palam Vihar, said his children stayed home as there could be trouble.

“What is the need to take a risk,” he said.

“There was some test hence had to send (child) to school reluctantly,” another parent, whose child goes to Salwan Public School in Sector 15, said on the condition of anonymity.

Violent protests against the controversial film by fringe outfits, including Rajput caste groups, intensified a day ahead of the film’s release.

It escalated this week with hundreds of demonstrators rampaging through the streets of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Acts of vandalism were reported from Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on Wednesday.

State police chiefs promised increased protection for cinema halls on Thursday but the movie will not be screened in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Goa, the Multiplex Association of India said.

Haryana was among the four states that wanted the film banned but was snubbed by the Supreme Court that asked the states to ensure the safety of property and people.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 10:14 IST