After Violence, Multiplex Owners In 4 States Pull Out Padmaavat: 10 Facts

The "Padmaavat" row intensified a day before the film's release despite the orders of the Supreme Court. Groups like Karni Sena have vowed to block the film

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A day before Padmaavat's release, security has been increased outside theatres in Gujarat and Rajasthan

New Delhi:  Hundreds of supporters of fringe groups like the Karni Sena ran amok across several states on Wednesday protesting violently against the release of Bollywood film Padmaavat, slated for today. In Gurgaon, adjacent to national capital Delhi, they stoned a school bus carrying petrified children who cowered in fear. Protesters also burnt a bus and blocked roads in other parts of Haryana and in Rajasthan. They forced shops to shut in Uttar Pradesh and attacked vehicles in Gujarat. Violent protests were also reported in Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The Karni Sena has asked supporters to ensure movie halls are unable to screen the film. Anticipating trouble, some schools in Gurgaon have decided to remain closed today.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:
  1. No one was injured in the attack on the Gurgaon school bus, but young children crouched on the floor of the bus in fear, some weeping, as the attackers threw stones smashing the windows, a mobile phone video showed. "There were policemen, but no one was listening to them. The protesters didn't care," said a teacher on the bus.
  2. There are prohibitory orders in Gurgaon, with large gatherings banned. The police said protesters will be not be allowed within 200 metres of movie halls, but many of the city's 40 cinemas have said they will not screen Padmaavat. On Wednesday evening, the administration said the situation was "normal". 
  3. The Multiplex Association of India, which represents about 75 per cent of multiplex owners, said its members would not screen the movie in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. "The local management has told us that the law and order situation is not conducive," its president Deepak Asher was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
  4. In Rajasthan, distributors refused to screen "Padmaavat" citing the protests. Besides Delhi-Jaipur highway, traffic was hit on Delhi-Ajmer highway as protesters burnt tyres. In Sikar, a bus was stoned. The Chittor Fort was shut down for the second time in its centuries-old history after Karni Sena members tried to break in.
  5. In Indore district of Madhya Pradesh, nearly 200 protesters blocked the National Highway 3, which links Agra and Mumbai. The police said the protesters broke glass bottles to stop traffic movement on the road. Around 50 Karni Sena activists also burnt an effigy of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film's director.
  6. In Lucknow, protests were held outside a mall. In Etawah, police lathicharged protesters who damaged vehicles and forced shops to shut down. Several vehicle owners were injured.
  7. The police arrested 30 Karni Sena workers as a preventive measure in Mumbai; 44 others were arrested in Gujarat's Ahmedabad. In Delhi, a number of people, suspected to be members of a fringe Rajput group, were detained near a multiplex, the police said. Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said the organisation won't allow the release of the film. "January 25 may come and go but we won't let the film release, come what may," he said.
  8. Protests against the film had turned increasingly violent from Tuesday evening, with arson and vandalism reported from Ahmedabad and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Today, 50 people were arrested in Ahmedabad, where the police had to open fire as a mob burnt nearly 30 two-wheelers and smashed shop windows outside malls.
  9. Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected a final attempt by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments to ban the movie. "It's an order, better abide by it. You (states) can advise people not to watch the movie," the judges said.
  10. The protesters believe the film distorts history and shows Rani Padmini, the legendary queen of Chittor, in a poor light. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapur, was cleared by the censor board after a number of edits and a change of title from Padmavati to Padmaavat.




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