Bollywood film ‘Padmaavat’ released nationwide today with heightened security outside theatres across several states following protests by the Karni Sena and other groups.
Police is deployed in theatres across Mumbai and more than 100 Karni Sena supporters have been taken into custody as a preventive measure. Earlier this week, a group of protesters had torched tyres on the Sion-Panvel Highway and disrupted traffic movement on the Mumbai-Pune and Mumbai-Goa roads.
The Goa Police too has stepped up security around theatres for the release of the film. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had said the film would not be banned in the state if cleared by the Censor Board.
Several schools have been closed till further orders across Delhi-NCR after stones were pelted on a school bus in Gurugram on Wednesday. Window panes of the bus were shattered at the time of the incident which was ferrying more than two dozen school children . A Haryana Roadways bus was also torched allegedly by members of Karni Sena, the group that has been spearheading the agitations against the film over allegations of distortion of historical facts. Major multiplex body has said it will not screen the film in states including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The nationwide bandh call given by Karni Sena against the film’s release failed to make any major impact in Gujarat, as educational institutions, offices and markets remained open in most parts of the state but bus services were suspended from Ahmedabad to Mehsana and Banaskantha for Thursday as a precautionary measure. Though the multiplexes and theatres have already announced not to screen the movie, over 20,000 policemen as well as paramilitary personnel have been deployed across the state to thwart any attempt to disturb peace.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear two separate petitions seeking contempt action against four state governments and Karni Sena for violating its order on release of the film on Monday.
The Supreme Court on January 18, had paved the way for the nationwide release of “Padmaavat”, by staying the ban on its screening in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.