Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' finally releases, security upped in wake of protests

Security personnel have been deployed outside cinema halls in various parts of the country to avoid any violence.

Mumbai: Despite the Supreme Court’s order for a nation-wide release of ‘Padmaavat’, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from several states since Wednesday.

With Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ slated to hit the big screens on Thursday, security in several states have been heightened. Acts of vandalism were reported in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. In Gurgaon, adjacent to national capital Delhi, around 20-25 students of a leading Gurgaon school had a narrow escape when the frenzied mob attacked the school bus.

Protesters also burnt other buses and blocked roads.

Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said the organisation won't allow the release of the film ‘Padmaavat’ and said "January 25 may come and go but we won't let the film release, come what may."

Several schools and companies have declared holiday after several threats. The Multiplex Association of India representing about 75 per cent of the multiplex owners said ‘Padmaavat’ will not be screened in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa.

‘Padmaavat’ has been at the centre of protests since shooting for started, with Rajput groups alleging that the film distorted history and tarnished the image of the legendary Queen of Chittor by suggesting romance between her and Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji.

Queen Padmini, who was said to have immolated herself to escape falling into the clutches of the invading forces of Alauddin Khilji, is looked upon as an icon by the Rajput community.

Here are the LIVE updates of the controversy surrounding ‘Padmaavat’:

10:50 am: PVR Cinemas at Gurgaon's Ambience mall in Haryana will not be screeing 'Padmaavat'. The multiplex has put up a notice that says, "The screening of the movie 'Padmaavat' has been cancelled.

10:07 am: Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, "Films (here 'Padmaavat') which hurt sentiments of any religion or caste should not be made."

9:59 am: Security personnel have been deployed outside cinema halls at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Police said, "have not witnessed any protest yet, have increased security as a precautionary measure."

Also, security has been tightened outside cinema halls in Hyderabad on the day of the release of 'Padmaavat'.

Security at Ahmedabad in Gujarat has also been beefed up.

9:57 am: Theater in Rajouri Garden witnessed good turn-out on first day, first show of 'Padmaavat'. Movie-goers say, 'want to see the reason behind all that uproar'.

9:46 am: Union Minister VK Singh said, "Freedom of speech and expression does not give an individual a right to tamper history. The matter can be resolved after holding talks with those who are protesting against the screening of 'Padmaavat'. There are chances of flaws when there is disagreement. (Abhivyakti ki swatantrta itihaas ko todphod karne ki ijazat nahi deti, toh jo viroh kar rahe hain unke saath baith ke isko suljhaya jaye,jab cheezen sehmati se nahi hoti hain toh phir usme gadbad hoti hai.)

8:50 am: A cinema hall owner at Pune in Maharshtra said the situation is peaceful and the show peaceful.
"Its peaceful. Current show housefull. Police presence is here, our own security is also in place. All good as of now," Kishore Ganatra, E-Square cinema hall owner in Pune said.

8:45 am: I-T giant Wipro had issued a statement where it had declared holiday for its employees in Karnataka on Thursday.
"On account of the shutdown called by various organizations, as a precautionary measure, Wipro Limited has declared holiday for employees in Karnataka today. Business Continuity Plans have been invoked to avoid disruption to mission critical project," Wipro statement read.

8:20 am: Parents in Delhi and neighbouring states are worried about the safety of their child on the day of 'Padmaavat' release.

"There is panic, if school bus can be attacked in Gurgaon then can happen in Delhi also, even here there are cinema halls near schools, so have come to drop my child to school myself," said a parent in Delhi.

Meanwhile, a parent at Faridabad in Haryana said, "As of now its peaceful here but it is indeed disturbing that in Gurgaon some schools are shut as preemptive measures due to protests. Failure of administration."

8:16 am: Udaipur ADM SC Sharma has issued an order stating that students in both government and private schools should not perform on the 'ghoomar' song from the film 'Padmaavat' during Republic Day celebrations.

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