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Padmaavat protests: There’s freedom to stone school bus with children

Shot by a passenger on the bus, the video captures just 13 seconds of the four-minute ordeal that students — the youngest was aged four — teachers and school staff went through as the bus drove past a mob that had just torched a Haryana Roadways bus.

Written by Sakshi Dayal , Dipti Nagpaul | Gurgaon / Mumbai | Updated: January 25, 2018 8:32 am
Padmaavat protests, Karni sena, karni sena padmaavat, Gurugram bus on fire, Gurgaon bus attacked, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Padmaavat protests Mumbai, indian express The attack on the school bus was among dozens of protests across at least six states Wednesday, a day before the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film.

A VIDEO of terrified school children huddled in a Gurgaon school bus as a mob, protesting the release of Padmaavat, attacked them with stones and sticks Wednesday became a symbol of government apathy to maintenance of law and order.

Shot by a passenger on the bus, the video captures just 13 seconds of the four-minute ordeal that students — the youngest was aged four — teachers and school staff went through as the bus drove past a mob that had just torched a Haryana Roadways bus.

Read | Violent Padmaavat protesters hold Gurgaon to ransom, police detains 24 people

The attack on the school bus was among dozens of protests across at least six states Wednesday, a day before the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. The Supreme Court had Tuesday cleared the decks for the film’s release for Thursday.

Despite the SC order, violent protests spread to cities and towns in several states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) announced that its members in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa would not screen Padmaavat.

In the Gurgaon video, staff and students are seen crouching on the floor of the bus and the shattered windows in the background only underscore the horror and confusion. One student is heard sobbing constantly, while at the end of the video a girl, clad in a red sweater, is seen crying in the arms of a staff member trying to reassure her. As the bus races away, staff members are heard telling each other and the children to keep low and not get up, fearing more violence.

“Traffic was clearing up when some men from the mob began throwing stones at us. They came at us with faces covered,” said Parvesh Kumar, the driver of the GD Goenka World School, Sohna, school bus.

According to officials, there were ten children on board the bus at the time, who study in grades ranging from nursery to class XII. In addition, there were three teachers, one conductor, and a helper who were also in the vehicle, apart from the driver.

Also Read | Padmaavat release today, Haryana govt is silent, wary

“We did not even have a chance to understand what was happening, or request the men to not harm us. They attacked us so suddenly that we barely had enough time to get ourselves and the students out of the harm’s way,” said a school employee who was in the bus.

Confirming the incident, Manish Sehgal, PRO of Gurgaon Police, said, “The school bus was driving past the area when a roadways bus was set afire, and protesters threw stones at the school bus as well. Some glass was shattered, but no injuries have been reported until now.”

Neeta Bali, the principal of the school, said, “We immediately called all our buses back. Parents were informed, snacks were given to them and they were dispersed an hour later. We have decided to observe a holiday tomorrow, seeing the unrest.” Following the incident, at least 10 other schools in Gurgaon informed parents that they would remain shut as a precautionary measure.

The Gurgaon police have detained 13 following the incident. Commissioner of Police, Sandeep Khirwar, confirmed that the video of the incident “will be included” in the investigation. Khirwar said adequate forces would be deployment to ensure “no such targeting of school buses”.

Read | Padmaavat preview: Arson on roads, tension in air

Asked if police had identified the group the mob belong to he said: “I will not ascribe any of those detained to any group. These are miscreants who have carried out this incident. Any leaders or organisations who have facilitated the violence, however, will also be held culpable.”

Padmaavat, Karni Sena, padmavati protest, Padmavati violence, Rajput community, Padmaavat in theatre, Indian Express Outside Wave Cinemas in Ludhiana. (Express Photo/Gurmeet Singh)

Despite earlier SC orders, which put the onus of security on state governments, several multiplexes and single screen theatres have refused to screen Padmavaat citing law and order trouble. The MAI, which represents close to 75 per cent of multiplex owners, said the film would not be screened in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.

Citing the “prevailing law and order situation”, MAI president Deepak Asher said the decision was taken by the association members on their own. “The safety of our patrons and visitors to the malls and multiplexes is of paramount importance, and under the present circumstances, it was apprehended that there could be a potential risk to such safety, all the members of the Association have individually considered it prudent to not screen the movie at present,” he said, adding that the situation may be reviewed.

Read | Padmaavat protests: Karni Sena calls for ‘janta curfew’, claims others carrying out violence

Taking cue, single screens in three states have also chosen to play it safe. The chairman of the Bhopal Cinema Owners’ Association, Ranveer Singh, said no theatre in the city would screen the film. Sudhir Bindal of Velocity in Indore said that the violence and the government’s inaction has led to the decision. “Pad man has been postponed and we have no film to show. But we don’t have a choice. The situation is scary and the government is watching the drama,” said Bindal. “No one wants to take the risk,” confirmed the owner of Jaipur’s Raj Mandir, Pushpendra Surana.

State govt beefed up security outside the multiplexes. (Express Photo)

Following the apex court’s orders, the Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS), which has spearheaded protests against the film, Wednesday asked for a ‘Janta curfew’ (curfew by the people) to “block” the movie, a day ahead of its release.

In Delhi too, police confirmed mobs had vandalised vehicles in Maurya Enclave despite heavy security cover before the Republic Day parade and a major summit with southeast Asian leaders. Pune police confirmed the arrest of 15 demonstrators, allegedly from Rajasthan, after a mob damaged at least ten vehicles.

Read | Padmaavat protests: To keep kids safe, many schools in NCR shut today

“Let us not come to a stage where exhibition of a movie of this nature after issuance of certificate is crippled… People must understand that it (CBFC) is a statutory body. Supreme Court has passed an order. People have to abide by it. If they don’t like it, don’t watch,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had said Tuesday.

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  1. Employ Ment
    Jan 25, 2018 at 5:59 pm
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    1. Kim Sharma
      Jan 25, 2018 at 5:40 pm
      India is literally burning. Thanks Modi for letting us know so early in your rule the difference between Congress rule and bjp rule.you gave us the most wretched admin india has ever seen. Our Muslim kings, Hindu kings, European masters and congress PMs knew how to administer a country well. We can ignore their shortcomings as they helped india grow, but modi, you don't know even to manage the economy, forget providing peace and that too in 21st century. Other rulers too had faced problems, but they were growth pangs of a young country. Only modi creates problems along with his chela vandals, foolish ministers, incompetent Chief ministers, thuggish rss masters...pls resign and go modi... You are the worst! Modi sarkar bekar, jungle raj by modi.
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      1. blackpower 666
        Jan 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm
        The tale, derived from Malik Muhammad Jayasi's 16th century epic poem, floats on the surface, willing us on to embrace the constant sensory stimulation that the director presses into the service of his 'g ' vision of a period of history when unblemished Rajput warriors waged valiant wars while their acquiescent women unquestioningly adhered to a patriarchal code of conduct. In the face of the obduracy and valour of the King of Mewar, Padmavati's oh-so-noble husband, the fierce Muslim invader is forced to rethink his methods and fall back on ever-increasing brutality and skullduggery, driven by his growing obsession with Rani Padmavati. ... "Padmaavat" Movie Review: Deepika Padukone Is To Die For In Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Tepid Film s: ndtv /entertainment/padmaavat-movie-review-deepika-padukone-is-to-die-for-in-sanjay-leela-bhansalis-tepid-film-1804438
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        1. blackpower 666
          Jan 25, 2018 at 5:28 pm
          .. There is pizzazz aplenty in this overlong horses-and-swords yarn, but it is all so superficial - if not wholly superfluous - that nothing that the excess-obsessed filmmaker throws into the boiling pot can rustle up a broth sizzling enough to keep crackling over a runtime of nearly three hours. What's worse is the dubious ideology it peddles to uphold notions of history favoured by the nation's current political dispensation. ... Despite the pre-credits disclaimer that Padmaavat does not intend to support the practice of sati, the ideas about a woman's honour and place in the world that are woven into the screenplay by Prakash Kapadia and Bhansali are hugely troubling. The female protagonist, in the company of many other women, including a child and one who is heavily pregnant, jumps into fire to avoid being violated by enemy soldiers - the act is brazenly glorified.
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          1. blackpower 666
            Jan 25, 2018 at 5:28 pm
            It is difficult to fathom why anybody in this day and age would want to make a film that suggests women should embrace death when the 'sanc y' of their bodies is imperiled unless he is out to push a larger agenda. This film's antediluvian at ude to and morality are obnoxious to say the least. Even more out of line is the petty and manipulative manner in which it feeds into popular prejudices against those that do not belong to the 'pure' Hindu universe. The Muslim ruler of half of India, Alauddin Khilji, is presented as an unprincipled brute, likened to the asuras (demons of Hindu mythology), and even Yamraj (the god of death). The Rajput king, in contrast, is genteel, upright and governed by a strict moral code. ...
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          2. blackpower 666
            Jan 25, 2018 at 3:21 pm
            Amid protests in India, Padmaavat to be released in Pak without any cuts : news.rediff /commentary/2018/jan/25/amid-protests-in-india-padmaavat-to-be-released-in-pak-without-any-cuts/f696c651d566af5e3b7b6e795b228c7a
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            1. blackpower 666
              Jan 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm
              we do not need fascism, racism, misogyny, bigotry, and lovers of hitler, whose bible is mein kampf, whose solution is hitler's final solution - otherwise india will become a nation of shambulal regargs time for RSS mukt india
              (9)(3)
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              1. Abhinav Prakash
                Jan 25, 2018 at 4:14 pm
                we do not need s, bigots, leftists, opportunists cowards who immediately start crying against RSS even if a dog barks.
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                1. blackpower 666
                  Jan 25, 2018 at 4:50 pm
                  we need a brave BIMARU rajput like abhinav prakash who chucks stones at schoolbuses but when the grownup muslim invaders cross the khyber abhinav likes his cowardly forefathers (millions of them) will flee like rats leaving their foremothers as trophies for the invaders! so you need to check whose genes you possess - ghazni, ghori, babur, timur or their soldiers?
                  (2)(1)
                  1. blackpower 666
                    Jan 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm
                    we need an uppercaste monster like abhinav prakash who does not mind kicking a 9 months pregnant dalit woman to death 9 Months Pregnant Dalit Woman Beaten To Death By Upper Castes, For “Polluting” Garbage Bin By Touching It - A nine-month pregnant Dalit woman was brutally beaten for “contaminating” a garbage bin near a village in Meerut, said a report by The Times of India. She succumbed to her injuries on Sa ay. Savitri was pregnant with child and upon being inflicted with ruthless violence, she suffered a miscarriage.
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                    1. blackpower 666
                      Jan 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm
                      we need a saffron luddite, racist,s bigoted fascist like abhinav prakash easily influenced by hindutva hatred of false prop aganda of gharwapsi, morphed photos, fake news to stoke the dormant hatred and become a raging psychopath - a la Shambulal Regar to murder, set on fire Afrazul and record vidoes for posterity! We want Shambulal Regar for PM!
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                      1. blackpower 666
                        Jan 25, 2018 at 4:54 pm
                        Hindutva fascist and BIMARU Abhinav is proud of this fact - RAJASHTAN RANKS #2 IN ATROCITIES ON DALITS AS PER NCRB why not? WHERE IS BIMARU RAJE? In a Rajasthan Village, Dalit Children Are Afraid To Go To School.......50 Dalit children from the senior secondary school from the village sat in protest outside the collector's office in Jodhpur with a memo um. JODHPUR: Dozens of Dalit children from a government school in Rajasthan's Berdo Ka Baas village say they are now too scared to go to school. Their classmate, 12-year-old Dinesh Meghwal, was beaten up last week by a teacher allegedly for touching a non-Dalit's food plate. s: ndtv /india-news/in-a-rajasthan-village-dalit-children-are-afraid-to-go-to-school-1230415
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                        1. blackpower 666
                          Jan 25, 2018 at 4:54 pm
                          we need misogynist patriarchal abhinav prakash who loves RAJPUTS TREAT WOMEN AS PROPERTY BIMARU RAJASTHAN - STATUS OF WOMEN The condition of women in Rajasthan is pitiable in comparison to other states.it is among the worst states in the country for women. Infamous for child marriages, Rajasthan is among the states having worst ratios in the country . Here, women have to collect water from uncovered wells and cook food on firewood. Besides, the desert state also has the worst percentage of girls going to school in 15-17 age group. The women are not well employed too. The reproductive span of women here is second highest in the country .Only 72.1 of girls in the age group of 15-17 years attend schools, which is worst in the country. Rajasthan is one of the states with high maternal mortality ratio (MMR). The MMR in the state is 244 deaths per one lakh live births. the child ratio (0-6 years) in Rajasthan is 888.
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                          1. blackpower 666
                            Jan 25, 2018 at 4:55 pm
                            WOMEN IN BIMARU RAJASTHAN UNDER THE YOKE OF TALIBAN-LIKE HINDU PATRIARCHY - Discrimination against women manifests itself in many forms that start even before birth. selection, not celebrating the birth of female children girl-child, naming girls Mafi (Sorry) or Dhapu (Enough) and forcing them to drop out of school after primary level to assist at home are just some examples of this. The prevalence of child marriage and the dowry system, an insistence that girls keep purdah, domestic violence, and harassment of young girls by in-laws are also linked directly to gender inequality. Women are excluded from decision-making processes in their homes and communities, and traditional caste and community leadership structures do not encourage women to voice their grievances openly.
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