Public Order State's Responsibility, Home Ministry Says On Padmavati Row

Protesters have threatened violence over Padmavati which they say implies a romantic relationship between Queen Padmini and Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji and is full of other inaccuracies - a charge the filmmaker has denied.

Public Order State's Responsibility, Home Ministry Says On Padmavati Row

The film Padmavati has run into opposition from groups accusing it of distorting history.

New Delhi:  Handling the escalating row, violence and threats over the Bollywood movie Padmavati is the responsibility of the states, the Union Home Ministry said today as the Uttar Pradesh government wrote to the Centre saying release of the film can pose a law and order problem in the state. Questions have been raised about Rajasthan government's inaction against the protesters.

A letter from the Yogi Adityanath government said "after the release of the trailer of the movie on October 9, various social and other organisations opposed the film." Amid such strong protests, it said, there are fears of law and order being disrupted. The state said it has intelligence reports that the movie has been sent to the Censor Board for clearance.

"The first responder in relation to ongoing and potential public order issues are the district administration and State Police under the overall guidance of the State Government," a ministry spokesperson said today. But the ministry also added that any request for assistance will be given "fullest consideration".

The Rajput group Karni Sena, which has been spearheading the protests, today threatened actor Deepika Padukone -- who plays the 13th Century legendary queen Padmini in the movie -- with physical harm. Besides holding protests across Rajasthan, Gujarat and even in Bengaluru in south India, the Karni Sena has threatened to shut tourists out of Chittorgarh.

The fort - where Padmini was said to have lived and died -- is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Rajasthan. Even today, guides take tourists to a room from Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji was said to have viewed Padmini trough a mirror, and the grounds where the queen, along with the women of the royal household, was said to have committed Jauhar - the mass self-immolation along with palace women to save themselves from imprisonment and dishonour.

Critics say the film implies a romantic relationship between the Queen and the Delhi Sultan and is full of other inaccuracies - a charge the film-maker has denied.

The Karni Sena called for a nationwide strike on December 1, the day the film is expected to be released. And today, one of its leaders said "Rajputs never raise a hand on women, but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha," referring to the act of cutting off the nose of the asura princess in the epic Ramayana. The actor was given extra security this evening.

Earlier, the group had vandalized a movie theatre in Kota and sets of the movie in Jaipur and Kota. Its members also roughed up the film's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is yet to comment on the threats of the Karni Sena. The state's Home minister Gulab Chand Katariya has only said, "Padmini is not just about the honour of one section of society but about the honour of the whole state of Rajasthan... but I plead with these people -- please don't take law into your hands."

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