The brother of the man whose body was found hanging in Nahargarh Fort near Jaipur on Friday said he believes it was a murder, not a case of suicide. He also demanded an investigation into the incident.
The victim was identified as Chetan Saini, a local jeweler, NDTV reported. Slogans against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati were found close to his body, which was found hanging at the fort on Friday morning. One message on a rock said, “Hum sirf putle nahi latkate [We do not just hang bodies]”, while another said, “Padmavati ka virodh [Against Padmavati]” (pictured above).
Speaking to ANI, Ram Ratan Saini said his brother had not committed suicide. “We will demand an investigation into the death,” he told the news agency. “He has nothing to do with the notes on Padmavati.”
Earlier on Friday, News18 had reported quoting unidentified officers of the Jaipur Police that Chetan Saini’s death was a murder, not a suicide. The police also said that his death had nothing to do with the movie. However, according to an NDTV report, the police said it is not clear whether this was a case of murder or suicide.
Controversy and threats
Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been in the midst of a controversy since January, with Rajput groups and others accusing Bhansali of distorting history.
In the past few weeks, Padukone and Bhansali have received several threats. Mahipal Singh Makrana, Rajput Karni Sena’s Rajasthan unit president, openly threatened to cut Padukone’s nose for her role in the film. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief media coordinator for Haryana, Suraj Pal Amu, announced a Rs 10-crore reward for anyone who beheads Padukone and Bhansali.
After these threats, Viacom18 Motion Pictures – the co-producers of the film – said they had decided to “voluntarily defer” its release. The movie was scheduled to be out on December 1. There is no word yet on when Padmavati will be released.
Lawyer ML Sharma had moved the Supreme Court, asking for the “objectionable scenes” in the film to be deleted, but the court said, “We cannot interfere with the Central Board of Film Certification’s work.”