The protests over the screening of controversy-laden movie Padmaavat turned violent in Gujarat on Sunday, 21st January. The Bollywood period drama, which is slated for a January 25 release across the country, has been witnessing massive backlash from fringe groups in various states, including Shri Rajput Karni Sena. The situation turned hostile in Gujarat when the protesters torched buses in areas like Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad demanding complete ban over the film.
Meanwhile, amidst the violence, the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner issued a notification stating that those protesting near multiplexes, malls will be booked under section 308 of IPC, which is an attempt to commit culpable homicide. The BJP governed Ahmedabad was one of the four states which banned the film from releasing before the Supreme Court’s order. The Gujarat Police has stopped public buses in several routes and violators have been arrested to prevent any untoward incidents. “I appeal the protesters not to indulge in violence,” said the DGP.
Faridabad: Members of Rajput community raise slogans and hold placards during the protest against upcoming Bollywood movie 'Padmavati' at Faridabad, in Haryana on Saturday. PTI Photo(PTI11_18_2017_000134B)
The Supreme Court had already cleared Padmaavat for nationwide release by staying the ban of Rajasthan and Gujarat governments. The apex court had also restrained other state governments from passing similar orders.
Karni Sena members have already distributed a memorandum in all the theatres threatening them not to screen the movie. When asked what they would do when the film is screened, they said, “Wait and watch what happens on 25th.”
Some multiplex owners have already indicated that they might not screen the movie owing to vandalism threats by Karni Sena and other groups. Meanwhile, the BJP government in Rajasthan has also decided to file a review petition in the apex court. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh government which too had banned the film is also planning to approach the Supreme Court. “We will again knock on the apex court’s doors,” said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during an event in Indore.