'Something so unfortunate has happened because of illiteracy in our country.'
'Almost all the junior actors' costumes have been burned to ashes. There is so much hard work that was put into making the clothes. We will work day and night and make up for the damages but morally, we are are very low.'
The set of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmavati was vandalised by unidentified persons at Mhasai Pathar, a rocky plateau in the Kolhapur district in the wee hours of March 15.
The miscreants also torched the costumes and the animal feed kept there for the horses featuring in the period drama, said Senior Police Inspector Dhanya Kumar Godse of Panhala police station. The vandals also tried to set ablaze the vehicles of the crew members parked near the set.
Following the incident, the film's crew has been provided police protection, Maharashtra's Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar said.
The shooting of the film starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor was underway, when a group of around 20 people came to the set between 1 am and 2 am, the police said.
The reason behind the protest was not yet known.
Godse said no formal complaint has been lodged so far in connection with the incident.
The film's producers were not available for comment.
Kesarkar, meanwhile, said in Mumbai that the film's producers have been asked to file a complaint with the police regarding the incident. Once the complaint is filed, the incident would be probed into by the state home department, he said..
"The police officials, including the inspector general of police of Kolhapur range and the district SP have met Bhansali and his team. The shooting was going on at Mhasai plateau, some six km away from the iconic Panhala fort in Kolhapur district. After the incident, the state home department has given them protection and deployed an officer and 12 other policemen," he told reporters outside Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai.
Designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula are in a state of shock after the costumes of Padmavati, on which they worked on for months, were torched.
"Something so unfortunate has happened because of illiteracy in our country. There is so much hard work that was put into making the clothes. We will work day and night and make up for the damages but morally, we are are very low. We are broken sentimentally. For creative people like me, Harpreet and Mr Bhansali, it is very shocking," Rimple told PTI.
It is second such incident that has plagued the film.
In January, some members of a Rajput community group called Karni Sena had assaulted Bhansali in Jaipur for allegedly presenting 'distorted facts' in Padmavati.
Rimple says she fails to understand why people are vandalising the sets despite the assurance by the makers that the film is not distorting history.
"The CEO and Mr Bhansali have released so many statements saying that there is nothing in the film which is distorting history. But still some sections don't understand," she says.
The designer says she is constantly in touch with Shobha Sant, who is the CEO of Bhansali films, and they are trying to gauge the damage. Rimple says that, as per her knowledge, the costumes of the junior actors have been burned to ashes.
"There has been a huge monetary loss. Almost all the junior actors' costumes have been burned to ashes. As far as the seniors are concerned, I am yet to get a check on that. I am unable to contact too many people because the network is bad in Kolhapur," she says.
Rimple says she has deliberately not spoken to Bhansali about the incident as he is going through a lot emotionally.
"Mr Bhansali was recuperating from the Jaipur incident and then this happened. He held himself strong and continued this shoot. HHe never anticipated something like this would happen," she says.
The designer says that, because of such incidents and the huge monetary loss, there will be a substantial delay in the film's shooting.
Deepika plays Rani Padmavati in the film, Ranveer Singh plays Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor plays Raja Ratan Singh.