Protests against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama Padmavati turned violent on Tuesday after a group of people vandalised a mall in Rajasthan’s Kota for screening the film’s trailer at the cinema hall. The accused are believed to be members of right wing outfit Rajput Karni Sena, ANI reported.
A video of the incident shows members of the group shouting slogans and smashing windows and glass counters at the theatre. Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that the police have arrested eight people, according to ANI.
“In a democracy everyone has [the] right to protest,” Kataria is quoted as saying. “If they protest democratically, no one will have an objection. If they take law in their hands, then they will be punishable under law.”
The Rajput Karni Sena’s President Ajit Mamdoli threatened to “teach Bhansali a lesson if he keeps distorting history”, Times Now reported.
Based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat, the movie is set to release on December 1.
Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has repeatedly faced trouble from Rajput and Brahmin groups, who allege that the movie is distorting “historical facts” and fear that the movie features a love scene between Khilji (played by Ranveer Singh) and Rani Padmini (Deepika Padukone) as a dream sequence. Bhansali has denied this.
On January 27, members of the Rajput Karni Sena beat up Bhansali and vandalised the sets of Padmavati in Rajasthan, forcing him to shift the shoot to Maharashtra. On March 15, the sets of Padmavati were ransacked and burned in Kolhapur. Since then, several right wing groups have threatened to stall the release of Padmavati alleging that Bhansali has distorted Rajput history. Earlier this month, Rajput and Brahmin groups demanded to be shown Padmavati before its release on December 1.