A day before the release of Padmaavat, a Bollywood film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, protests erupted in several parts of the country. Security has been beefed up in several states, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected petitions by the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which sought to review the court’s earlier order that rejected a ban on the film. The apex court had also directed state governments to ensure law and order is maintained.
In Maharashtra, the police have issued advisories to increase security arrangements across the state, and identified certain districts, such as Aurangabad, Nashik and Kolhapur as “sensitive pockets.” In Gujarat, a day after protests turned violent, the police filed six FIRs against 100 people today. Also read: Padmaavat review
Here are the Padmaavat release highlights
11.03 pm: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to express his disappointment against the attack on school bus to protest against the release of Padmaavat. “There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP’s use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire.”
11.00 pm: Amulya Patnaik, Commissioner of Police, Delhi has directed to make adequate security arrangements for Republic day celebrations, ASEAN summit and the release of Padmaavat. Delhi Police received 10 PCR calls related against protest held by Karni Sena in the city today
10.59 pm: Security forces deployed at multiplexes in Dehradun ahead of the release of Padmaavat tomorrow
9:50 pm: A day before the release of the movie Padmaavat protests sprouted in several parts of north India. The protesters took to the street in Gurugram, as they torched a state-run bus on fire despite prohibitory orders imposed in the city.
9:33 pm: Haryana CM had earlier said seeing the public sentiments, that cinema halls should not screen the movie. But SC gave the order, SC order is binding & CM has said that those cinema halls who want to screen the movie will be provided security, says Anil Vij, Haryana Minister.
9:30 pm: Both Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia condemned the attack on children in a school bus while protesting against Padmaavat release. Kejriwal said, “Utterly shameful. More disgusting is the complicity of those govts who r allowing it thro their inaction.”
9:22 pm: Congress slams the BJP government in Haryana over its “failure” to maintain law and order in the wake of an attack on a school bus by mobs protesting the release of film ‘Padmaavat’. Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to term the attack as “unacceptable” and “reprehensible” that endangered the lives of children.
9:13 pm: “We have taken precautionary measures and at least five cops have been deployed outside each venue screening the film. The security will continue to be deployed at least till the weekend. All the multiplexes which held premiere shows today were also given security,” Deputy Commissioner of police Ludhiana, Ashwani Kapoor said.
9:12 pm: In Ludhiana, premiere shows on Wednesday were held at Cinepolis Cinemas MBD Neopolis Mall, PVR Pavilion Mall, PVR Flamez Mall, PVR Silver Arc Mall, Solitaire Cinemas, SRS Cinemas at Omaxe Mall and Wave Cinemas at Westend Mall with the ticket price ranging from Rs 180 per ticket to Rs 450 varying as per the venue.
9:00 pm: To some relief, in, premiere shows are being held in 7 multiplexes; adequate security outside all venues have been ensured so people should come out without any fear to watch it, says DCP Ashwani Kapoor. Multiplexes have also hired private security as advance booking picks up.
8:44 pm: senior cabinet ministers met representatives of at least seven Rajput organisations in Gandhinagar and convinced them to refrain from participating in the “Bharat bandh” called to protest the release of the Bollywood film Padmaavat on Thursday. READ HERE
8:24 pm: Police had to use mild force to disperse the protesters gathered outside Gomti Nagar police station against the detention of the activists in Lucknow
8:09 pm: “There were incidents where a school bus was vandalised and a Haryana Roadway bus was torched. 13 people detained, action will be taken,” says Sandeep Khirwar, Commissioner.
8:07 pm: Adequate police forces has been deployed and mall managers have ben asked to tighten their internal security in Gurugram.
8:05 pm: Section 144 has been imposed in Gurugram following violence owing to release of padmaavat. “It’ll be in effect till 28th Jan, Executive Magistrates & police forces deployed at sensitive places. We’ve appealed people to protest peacefully, if they must, no order to close school, colleges, bars,” says Vinay Pratap Singh, DM.
7:40 pm: Nearly 200 protesters blocked National Highway-3, which links Agra with Mumbai, near Pigdambar crossing in Kishanganj area in Indore district and broke glass bottles on the road, reported PTI.
7:20 pm: Law and Order situation is under control. At some places people tried to take law in their hands, situation has been controlled promptly and action has been initiated against the hooligans: Mohd. Akil, ADGP Law & Order, Haryana.
7:09 pm: There was stone pelting at a GD Goenka School bus that was passing through the area while they were setting fire to the Haryana Roadways bus in Bhondsi. Though, the school bus was not held up, protestors threw stones, shattering the glass, putting children in harms way. No injuries have been reported yet. Check the video at the top.
7:01 pm: Issued directions to field units, Additional police forces has been sent out with direction that law and order shall be maintained throughout the state. Maximum possible preventive arrangements will remain in place for tomorrow, says Mohd. Akil, ADGP Law & Order, Haryana.
6:52 pm: Anti-Padmaavat protestors in Gurugram attacked a school bus, while torched a State Transport Department bus.
6:46 pm: Security forces have been deployed outside theatres in Haryana which had previously banned the film from releasing in the state.
6:39 pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also reacted on the violence ensuing in the wake of Thursday release and said, “If all state govts, central govt and SC together cannot get one movie released and run safely, how can we expect investments to flow in?”
6:33 pm: Massive police deployment is being seen outside malls and theatres in ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat where a mall was vandalised by antisocial elements on Tuesday night.
6:10 pm: Bars and pubs will not be shut in wake of protests ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film ‘Padmaavat’ tomorrow, Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said. There were reports in the day that bars and clubs have been asked to remain shut owing to the violence.
6:09 pm: Rajput Karni Sena continue to fiercely oppose the controversy-mired film with its chief patron Lokendra Singh Kalvi insisting that a ‘Janta curfew’ will be imposed on theatres screening the movie.
6:06 pm: The vandalims and chaos left in the wake of upcoming release of Padmavat has forced multiplexes to rethink their decision to screen the movie.
5:48 pm: “The safety of our patrons and visitors to President of the multiplexes is of paramount importance, and since under the present the circumstances, it was apprehended that there could be a potential risk to such safety, all members of the association have individually considered it prudent to not screen the movie at present,” said Deepak Asher, President of Multiplex Association of India.
5:35 pm: In a big development, the Multiplex Association of India has now decided not to screen Padmaavat in theatres acrossn Gujarat and Rajasthan.
5:32 pm: Ticket counter of Indra Cinemas in Jammu has been vandalized, an eyewitness says protesters raised slogans against the movie.
5:19 pm: After yesterday’s violence, where a mall was vandalisedministers Pradipsinh Jadeja and Bhupendra Chudasma are meeting with memebrs of Rajput community.
5:09 pm: Rajasthan, which has been at the epicentre of all the protests over the release of the film saw extreme backlash on Wednesday as well. Protestors burned tyres in the area near Chittorgarh Fort.
4:34 pm: No loss of life has been reported so far from Gurugram where protestors torched a state road transport department bus at Sohna Road.
4:17 pm: In Gurugram, masked men weilding sticks had set fire to a bus in Sohna Road. They resorted to stone pelting when police tried to intervene.
— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2018
4:14 pm: The protests have now reched Delhi: A bus was set on fire in Bhondsi, and protesters burnt tyres and blocked roads at Pataudi Wazirpur.
4:00 pm: 8-10 masked men had come to pelt stones at PVS mall. Police is on the lookout for the men. We will provide security to the mall at the time of screening of the film: Chakrapani Tripathi, Circle Officer, Civil Lines.
3:40 pm: In order to prevent any untoward incident during the release of movie Padmaavat in Delhi, police will take the help of vendors around the Cineplex and movie halls across the city.
3:35 pm: Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria was quoted by ANI as saying, “We’ve appealed protesters that if they want to protest while being within framework of law and order, they can go ahead with it. As a matter of fact, there aren’t many cinema halls in Rajasthan who’re ready to screen the film.”
3:11 pm: Stones pelted at PVS mall allegedly in protest against Padmaavat. Police deployed on the spot, investigation underway.
3:07: As people gear up to watch the movie at their nearest theatres, protesters are going all out to prevent the film from being screened. Acts of vandalism and violence has been reported in various states.
2:44 pm: The filmmaker has been organising several screenings for media across the country and others who have registered their opposition to Bhansali’s opus.
2.17 pm: Around 50 supporters of the Karni Sena have been detained for protesting Padmaavat. Speaking to PTI, a senior police official said, “We have detained around 50 supporters of Karni Sena so far in different parts of Mumbai. They were taken into custody when they gathered for protesting against the film.” He added that more people are likely to be taken into preventive custody.
2.13 pm: Apart from Rajput-dominated Karni Sena, the Hindu Sena is also threatening to disrupt the release of Padmaavat in halls across the country.
1.49 pm: Any attempt to disrupt law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh will be faced with stringent action, says Sidharth Nath Singh, UP cabinet minister for Medical and Health and government spokespersons, tells The Indian Express when asked about threats made by the Karni Sena.
— Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) January 24, 2018
1.47 pm: The Delhi Police has made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident during the release of movie Padmavat in the national capital. It has also sought help from vendors around the Cineplex and movie halls across city. Read more here.
1.40 pm: Firm in its demand for a ban on Padmaavat, the Karni Sena chief Lokendra Kalvi says, “We are adamant on our stand that this film should be banned. There should be a self imposed curfew by people,” reports ANI.
1.25 pm: Karni Sena chief was arrested by the police last night after the unit announced that 1,900 women of its community would commit jauhar (mass immolation) over the release of Padmaavat, reports IANS. Spokesperson of the group had said, “If we want, we can choose violent ways and disturb people and tourists. However, on the contrary, our women have decided to opt for jauhar (mass immolation) without disturbing anyone.”
1.15 pm: The Delhi-Jaipur highway has been blocked by protesters agitating against the release of Padmaavat, reports ANI. Meanwhile, the Gurgaon Wazirpur-Pataudi road has also been blocked. Here are some images.
12.07 pm: Take our poll!
11.24 am: If you haven’t followed the Padmaavat controversy, here’s a timeline of hurdles the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has faced. From its sets being vandalised to petitions in the SC — here’s everything you need to know.
11.04 am: The Supreme Court has refused an urgent hearing on a petition filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma which seeks deletion of certain scenes from Padmaavat, reports ANI. The top court will hear the matter on Monday.
10.48 am: Following the violent protests in Ahmedabad yesterday, the police has registered six FIRs against 100 people. On Tuesday, violent mobs targeted multiplexes and malls, blocked roads and torched vehciles. In response, the police had fired two rounds in the air to dispurse the mobs.
— satish jha. (@satishjha) January 24, 2018
10.40 am: In light of Padmaavat’s struggle to make it to the big screen, we’ve compiled a list of Bollywood movies that faced controversy. From Aandhi (1975) to Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), many of these have drawn flak for their content, language, title and sometimes even for the lyrics of songs. How many movies have you seen for this list?
10.22 am: To screen or not to screen? Owners of multiplexes across Gujarat are in two minds, a day before the nationwide release of Padmaavat. Despite police protection, many still have not taken a decision on whether they will screen the movie. Here’s where thing stand in Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Anand.
10.15 am: Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha president Bhuvneshwar Singh was booked by the Bareilly police on Tuesday after he threatened to destroy Parliament and the Supreme Court over the release of Padmaavat. In a video, Singh was seen targeting the SC for comparing Padmavati with Bandit Queen. He’s been charged with sedition.
9.53 am: The latest leader to join the chorus calling for a ban on Padmaavat is Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel. In a letter to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Hardik has held the BJP government “responsible” for the “consequences” of the release. He adds that the film should not be released in the state at any cost. Read about Hardik’s open letter here.
9.45 am: In Gujarat, protests turned violent late Tuesday night with mobs in Ahmedabad targeting multiplexes and malls, blocking roads and torching parked vehicles. Police fired in the air to scatter the mobs. Violence also broke out in parts of Surat. Protesters burnt tyres to block traffic on the highway to Kheralu area of north Gujarat. Read more about it here
9.35 am: Still wondering whether you should watch Padmaavat or not? Well we have five reasons why you should watch the movie. Click here to watch this quick video and let us know in the comments section whether you’re convinced.
9.30 am: With the Supreme Court rejecting pleas by the governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh asking that it review its earlier order, Rajput organisations in the state are now urging the Centre to introduce an ordinance and impose a ban on the film. The outfits claim that the issue is no longer restricted to their community but ostensibly involves all Hindus. Here’s what they had to say
9.15 am: Here is Shubhra Gupta’s review of the film. She gives it 2.5 stars.
“Padmaavat is spectacular: no one can do spectacle like Bhansali. This was what he was born to do. You can easily delight in it while the going is good. But nearly three hours of it, and looping rhetoric around what constitutes Rajput valour can and does become tiresome,” she writes. Continue reading here
9.00 am: The District Magistrate, Gurgaon, has imposed Section 144 in the city. Several Rajput and Gujjar-dominated villages on Tuesday held panchayats and decided to stage demonstrations on Wednesday against screening of the film. Jitender Chauhan, national executive member of the Rajput Karni Sena, said, “Panchayats were held in several villages. Residents have decided to meet managers of cinema halls and peacefully request them not to screen the film.” Read more about what’s happening in Gurgaon here.