Haryana on Tuesday became the fourth state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party to ban the release of the historical drama Padmaavat, which is scheduled for release on January 25.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet, Aaj Tak reported. “In this meeting, I said it should be banned in Haryana, keeping in view the law and order situation in the state,” Health Minister Anil Vij told ANI. “Cabinet supported this and we decided it will be banned in Haryana.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said on January 12 that their governments would not allow the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-director film. Rajasthan had said on January 9 that theatres across the state will not screen the film.

The Goa Police too have asked the Manohar Parrikar-led government to not allow the screening of the movie. The government should “avoid giving people an opportunity to agitate at this stage” as the police are “engaged in arrangements” during the ongoing tourist season, the police had said in a letter to the chief minister.

There were also reports of the Uttar Pradesh government banning the film. However, Chief Minister Adtiyanath on Sunday was non-committal about it. “I am not a future teller,” he said when reporters mediapersons asked him if the movie would be screened in Uttar Pradesh.

The controversy

Padmaavat, which has also been converted to 3D, was originally slated to be released on December 1. Repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups, led by the Rajput Karni Sena, stalled the movie’s release and delayed its certification. The censor board, headed by Prasoon Joshi, appointed a panel of historians to look into the claim that the film contains historical inaccuracies. The movie was finally cleared with a few changes on the condition that Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures change the title from Padmavati to Padmaavat to align it closer to its source material.

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, the historical drama is based on the 16th Century poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jaisi. Relying on folklore, legend, history and the imagination, Padmaavat explores Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji’s lust for Chittor queen Padmini, which leads to a battle that claims the lives of the queen and her husband, Ratansen.

Padmini is widely thought to be a fictional character and Padmaavat is a romanticised account of the battle in Chittor. The story has been widely adapted for the screen, including by Hindi and Tamil producers and for television, without any incident in the past.