Months after director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was attacked on the sets of Padmavati in Jaipur, the film’s sets were vandalised and set on fire in Kolhapur on Tuesday night in a fresh case of vandalism. The film’s sets were attacked between 1 and 2 am on Wednesday and according to reports, animals were present on Padmavati sets at the time of the incident and a horse is said to be badly injured. None of the film’s cast or crew was there at Kolhapur’s Masai plateau on Tuesday night where the sets have been erected.
About 20 to 30 people reached the sets of the film armed with petrol bombs, stones and lathis. They allegedly fought off the bodyguards and bouncers who were present at the sets. The security had earlier been beefed up at the sets in the light of Jaipur incident. Before setting the venue on fire, they also damaged the cars parked around the sets. They allegedly set on fire the costumes of the film and also torched the fodder kept for the horses, senior police inspector, Panhala Police Station, Dhanya Kumar Godse told PTI. The film’s security team caught hold of two of the vandals. However, they were attacked by the other members.
However, they were attacked by the other members of the group and managed to run away. The reason behind the protest was not yet known, the police said. NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad has condemned the action and demanded swift action.
Confirming the news, Shobha Sant, CEO Bhansali Productions told Pinkvilla, “A few people entered and had put the set on fire in the early morning hours. The main cast wasn’t present at that time. However, our costumes are completely damaged.” She said an investigation is on and an official complaint will be filed soon.
Bhansali Production issued a statement which read, “Filed a complaint against miscreants who vandalized our costume & jewelry and set it on fire Padmavati. No loss of life, no one seriously hurt on vandalized shoot of Padmavati.”
The official Twitter handle of Padmavati also put up a statement thanking the Maharashtra Police.
— Padmavati (@RealPadmavati) March 15, 2017
After the director was attacked in Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort and the sets vandalised, he had shifted the shooting from Rajasthan. Certain fringe Rajput outfits have claimed that the film has a dream sequence where Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji will be seen in an intimate position. Bhansali and his production house have dismissed the reports and said no such scene exists. However, this has not stopped the attacks. Historians have also pointed out that Padmavat, the 16th-century poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi on which the film is based, is a work of fiction but to no avail. Bhansali had staged Padmavati as an opera in 2008.
The film starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor is being shot in Mumbai as well. While the reports suggest that Bhansali is safe and has rushed to the sets, the shooting has been stopped till further notice. In Padmavati, Deepika plays the titular character while Shahid plays her husband Raja Rattan Singh. Ranveer essays the character of Alauddin Khilji.
Here are the pictures from Padmavati’s Kolhapur sets…
Details about people behind the attack are yet to emerge. Earlier, Bhansali had tried to call a truce with Rajput organisations and told them there will be no love scene between Deepika and Ranveer’s characters. The letter said…
As discussed with you, this is to specifically clarify that there is no romantic dream sequence or any objectionable / romantic scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji. We have been carefully researching and making the film. We are confident that Mewar will be proud of the film made on their revered queen. We do not want to hurt any sentiments and would appreciate if all the social organisations and local people support us in making this film and making their queen revered by the world. Request you to please ensure that moving forward there is no untoward action against our production, crew and cast in lieu of the said issue from members of your association and other Rajput associations. We look forward for your co-operation. — Bhansali productions Private Limited