Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmaavat was screened peacefully in Chandigarh and Mohali amidst tight security on Wednesday. Members of Karni Sena, Punjab, tried to storm the North Country Mall at Kharar, where the movie was being screened, twice but the police stood in the way.
In Panchkula, leaders and supporters of Rajputana Virasat Jagriti Manch gathered at Sector 5 to protest but dispersed peacefully. Later, Rajputana Virasat Jagriti Manch President Bhoom Singh Rana said theatres and public should stay away from the movie as it insulted their community.
Fearing violence and disturbance, the managements of some multiplexes in Chandigarh screened the movie but did not put up posters while Rajhans Cinema at Sector 5 in Panchkula put up a poster at the booking counter saying they were not showing the movie. Mayank Goyal of Inox Cinema on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway said booking was closed.
In Chandigarh, Padmaavat was screened in almost all the multiplexes and cinemas amid tight security. The first show started at 6.30 pm. UT DGP Tajender Singh Luthra said, “Security was beefed up around all the multiplexes. We had inputs that certain groups could create problems and we took adequate measures. Clear instructions were issued to deal with the protesters strictly.”
The movie was screened at Elante Mall, Industrial Area, Fun Republic at Manimajra, Jagat Mall at Sector 17, Centra Mall in Industrial Area, PVR City Center at IT Park and Wave City Emporium Mall in the Industrial Area. Nearly 650 police personnel were deployed outside every multiplex.
Panchkula DCP Manbir Singh said, “Section 144 CrPC has been imposed throughout Panchkula and the assembly of five or more carrying weapons was prohibited.” Gaurav Jain, who came for the show at Fun Republic, said, “I never had any apprehensions about Chandigarh. The news of violence and protests were mainly in Haryana. I booked the tickets in a heartbeat when they were available.”
Nikhil Sharma of Panchkula, said, “I usually go to Rajhans Cinema but the multiplex decided not to screen it. So, I headed to Chandigarh.”