Movie censorship

Delhi: Hindu outfit deploys 10 teams to stage aggressive protests if any theatre screens ‘Padmaavat’

Owners of cinema halls will alone be responsible for any losses as a result of the protests, the Hindu Sena has warned.

A Hindutva outfit on Tuesday threatened “aggressive demonstrations” in New Delhi if cinema halls screen the Hindi film Padmaavat. The group, Hindu Sena, said it has formed 10 teams to stop the screening of the film in the national Capital.

The outfit has also written to the Delhi Police and Ministry of Home Affairs.

“We have formed 10 teams to stop the film in Delhi, and they are keeping an eye on cinema halls,” the organisation said in a release. “If any theatre screens the film, there will be aggressive protests. If there are any losses as a result of this, the cinema hall owners alone will be responsible.”

The film is due for release on January 25. The Supreme Court has refused to allow a ban on the film in any state.

Meanwhile, the Gurugram district magistrate has prohibited people from shouting slogans, exhibiting placards and carrying fire arms and other items that may cause injury within a 200 metre radius of cinema halls and multiplexes under Section 144. The district magistrate’s order will be in force until January 28.

The Hindu Sena accused the Narendra Modi government of not being serious about the matter, and said the film would have been banned if the Centre was as serious as it was on the matter of Jallikattu.

The organisation said the film had distorted the “history of Hindus” and had insulted Queen Padmini. Most historians believe Padmini was a mythical character and never existed in reality, but Rajput and right-wing groups say otherwise.

The Hindu Sena has earlier made headlines when it held a fire ritual – havan – in support of Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate in the United States, in May 2016, and vandalised the Delhi office of Pakistan International Airlines in January 2016.

Padmaavat’s release and certification were delayed and stalled because of repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups led by the Rajput Karni Sena.

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