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Padmavati row: Rajput body calls for countrywide bandh on Dec 1

Source: PTI
November 15, 2017 22:55 IST
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Six of the eight persons detained in connection with the vandalising of a cinema hall were sent to judicial custody till November 19.

Rajasthan minister Kiran Maheshwari on Wednesday joined the chorus of protests against Bollywood movie Padmavati even as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena called for a countrywide bandh on December 1 opposing the film's release.

The Rajasthan State Commission for Women also wrote to the censor board asking it to clear the 'ambiguity' over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film 'in the interest of law and order'.

The protests, meanwhile, also reached south with Karni Sena members staging a demonstration in Bengaluru.


In Jaipur, Karni Sena leader Lokendra Singh Kalvi said the reported comments by actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the legendary queen in the movie, that nothing can stop the release of the film was provocative.

I haven't seen Padmavati: Prasoon Joshi

The censor board chief Prasoon Joshi said on Wednesday that reports of him having watched Padmavati are 'baseless and untrue'.

There were reports that the Central Board Of Film Certification chief has seen Padmavati and found nothing objectionable with the film.

The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles, is mired in controversy with various fringe factions and political leaders blaming the director for 'distorting historical facts'.

In a text message to PTI, Joshi said, 'The speculative reports a few publications are carrying about I having watched Padmavati are absolutely baseless and untrue. I have not watched the film nor expressed any views regarding it.'

The adman-lyricist said the movie, which was recently submitted to the board for certification, will follow a prescribed process.

'The film will follow the due process at CBFC (the Central Board of Film Certification),' Joshi added.

"Deepika Padukone's statement is provocative and I take it as a challenge, therefore, I have called for a nationwide bandh," Kalvi said.

"Ye jauhar ki jwala hai bahut kuch jalega. Rokna hai to Padmini ko rok lo (This is the flame of the Jauhar and a lot will burn. Stop it if you want to)," he threatened.

The Karni Sena seemed to have found some support in Maheshwari, a minister in the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan. Maheshwari said she strongly opposed the film claiming it was made purely for money making and entertainment.

In a social media post, the minister said that Rani Padmini had performed 'Jauhar' with 16,000 women.

"Deceit in any case with the history of immortal valour of such women cannot be accepted," she wrote.

Rajasthan's commission for women chief Suman Sharma, meanwhile, wrote to the censor board seeking clarity over movie so that peace is maintained.

In a letter to Central Board of Film Certification chief Prasoon Joshi, Sharma said that it needs to seen that the movie does not affect the dignity of women.

Citing protests in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, she said such incidents were adversely affecting the law and order situation.

Members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena claimed that not just the Rajput community or Hindu organisations but even Muslim leaders had come out against the film.

Karni Sena leader Kalvi demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervene in the matter saying the central government had the powers, as per the provisions of the Cinematography Act, to stop the release of a film for three months.

That provision should be invoked in case of Padmavati which is slated to be released on December 1, he demanded.

"We are calling for a country-wide bandh on December 1 if the film is released. We have the support of all castes and communities. We will hold public meetings and rallies in Gurugran, Patna and Bhopal before that," Kalvi told reporters.

He claimed that film hall owners' association and distributors had refused to release the film in the state and leaders from political parties and communities were coming in support of the demand that there should be no distortion of historical facts.

He said that the film maker had promised to organise a pre-screening before the censor board's approval but he released the promo and song without taking the Rajput community into confidence.

The sena is not demanding any pre-screening now but a total ban as the filmmaker had 'betrayed', he said.

The protests spread to the south as Rajput community members today staged a demonstration and held a rally in Bengaluru.

A large number of people from the Karni Rajput Sena turned up at the Town Hall in the heart of the city and marched up to the Freedom Park.

"What we have learnt is that there is lots of distortion of historical facts. Till our objections are addressed, we will not let the movie to be screened anywhere," said Sukhdev Singh, president of the Karni Sena.

A section of pro-Kannada organisations too came in support of the Sena.

In Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police Sulkhan Singh said the force had been asked to remain extra vigilant in view of the scheduled release of the film.

The protests against Padmavati had till now been confined to the northern and western parts of the country.

Bhansali has been facing trouble since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice -- in Jaipur and Kolhapur -- and the director was roughed up by members of the Karni Sena during the Jaipur schedule of the film earlier this year.

The Supreme Court had recently refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of Padmavati, saying the censor board was yet to certify the movie.

Meanwhile in Kota, six of the eight persons detained on Tuesday night in connection with the vandalising of a cinema hall were arrested late in the night while two of them were released after interrogation, police said.

The six accused were on Wednesday afternoon produced before a court that sent them to judicial custody till November 19.

The police have booked about 30 to 40 others in connection with the case, an official said.

Over 50 activists of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had on Tuesday created ruckus and vandalised a cinema hall in the Aakash Mall near the Aerodrome circle under Gumanpura police station area for allegedly screening a trailer of Padmavati.

Police had to use force to disperse the activists from the cinema hall.

Eight persons were detained following the incident on Tuesday evening, said Anand Yadav, Circle Incharge (CI), Gumanpura police station.

Two of the eight detained were released after the preliminary interrogation while six others allegedly involved in violence and causing damage were arrested, he said.

"The six arrested were identified as Pradeep Saini, Hamendra Singh, Digvijay Singh, Kunal Jangid, Ved Prakash and Vijay Pal Singh, who were on Wednesday evening produced before a local court that sent them to judicial custody till November 19," Yadav said.

At least 16 motorbikes and two four wheelers were also seized, he said.

"At least 30 to 40 others involved in the vandalising and causing damage in the cinema hall in Aakash Mall have also been booked," he added.

Over fifty activists of Karni Sena on Tuesday afternoon around 3. 20 pm reached cinema hall in Aakash Mall and created ruckus and vandalised the counters, booking windows, glass gates and office furniture.

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