Protests across country against 'Padmaavat'

Protests across country against 'Padmaavat'

A school bus was attacked in Gurugram, a fringe outfit in UP declared a bounty on Deepika Padukone's nose while roads were blocked at many places as violence spread to several states a day ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat'.

Karni Sena members protesting the movie allegedly damaged two state roadways buses in Jaipur and blocked a road in the city's Kalwar area scores of activists were held in Mumbai and Nashik.

A bus was torched and a highway blocked in Haryana's Gurugram where protesters violated prohibitory orders while the police had to use force to disperse an agitating mob in Lucknow.

In Gujarat, which witnessed violence in Ahmedabad on Tuesday night, community organisations opposing the release of the film decided not to join the nation-wide bandh on Thursday as theatres and multiplexes across the state decided against screening the flick.

"All the theatres and multiplexes have decided not to screen the movie. On behalf of the state government, I thank them for keeping in mind sensitivities of the community," Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told reporters.

With the fringe outfits opposing the movie remaining defiant, the Multiplex Association of India, which represents about 75% of multiplex owners, said the film would not be screened in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.

In Haryana, protesters, including volunteers of the Karni Sena, set a Haryana roadways bus on fire in Sohana division in Gurugram. The mob even did not spare a school bus with children on board on Wednesday evening. They pelted the moving school bus with stones as the driver tried to escape. A video that went viral showed children and teachers in fear ducking for cover inside the bus.

In Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur, a fringe outfit, the Kanpur Kshatriya Mahasabha, announced a cash reward to anyone who chops off actor Padukone's nose. Padukone plays legendary queen Padmavati in the film.

"We have collected crores of rupees from Kanpurites to be given as reward to anyone who will bring the chopped nose of Deepika Padukone," its president Gajendra Singh Rajawat told PTI in Kanpur.

In Bihar, hundreds of activists from different fringe groups like Karni Sena and Rajput Mahasabha, ran amok in Nalanda, the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, riding two-wheelers, vandalising a cinema hall in Nalanda and damaging posters of Padmaavat. Following this, the Bihar police sounded an alert throughout the state.

In Madhya Pradesh's Ratlam, 27 women members of Rajput Karni Sena submitted letters to the district administration urging President Ram Nath Kovind to stop the film or permit them to end their lives.

"We demanded that the president should either grant permission to us to embrace death, as we are not able to protect the honour of Rani Padmavati, or else stop the movie from release," Rajput Karni Sena's Ratlam district women's wing vice president Mangla Deora said.

Nearly 200 protesters blocked National Highway-3, which links Agra with Mumbai, near Pigdambar crossing in Kishanganj area in Indore district and broke glass bottles on the road, police said.

A theatre was vandalised in Jammu while there were protests in Gorakhpur as well.

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