Padmaavat: Thousands of women partake in warning march against film's release in Chittorgarh
Thousands of women brandishing swords took out a warning march in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, to warn the authorities to stop the release of Padmaavat
Thousands of women brandishing swords on 21 January took out a 'Chetavani Rally' or a warning march in Rajasthan's Chittorgarh town to warn the authorities to stop the release of Padmaavat movie or else be prepared for 'jauhar' by them.
Among the protesters were women, said to total 1,908, who have already registered for performing 'jauhar' (committing suicide by jumping into fire) in Chittorgarh.
The protesters began their march from the Chittorgarh Fort and ended it at the main market in the town where they submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to District Collector Indrajeet Singh.
The memorandum said that the march was taken out to ensure that Rani Padmini's honour was maintained and the screening of the film, which is set for release on 25 January, be stopped or else the Rajput women will perform 'jauhar' on 24 January.
Shri Rajput Karni Sena Spokesperson Vijendra Singh said that the body will approach cinema hall owners across India in the next three days to request them not to screen the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie.
"On Sunday (21 January), we contacted around 100 cinema halls in the National Capital Region and they have given in writing that they will not screen the film."
However, he warned, in case cinema halls screened the movie, they will be responsible for the consequences.
A few cinema halls in Ahmedabad, Faridabad and Ballabhgarh were engaged in advance booking for the film and hence they had to face the community's wrath, he added. Violent protests by members of the Rajput community were witnessed across Gujarat too, with agitators damaging buses and blocking roads.
The Supreme Court on 18 January had paved the way for the film's nationwide release by lifting the ban on its screening in BJP-ruled states Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Following incidents of protesters damaging and setting buses on fire, the police issued a stern warning and deployed more personnel in the affected areas. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) also suspended its services in northern parts of the state.
Interestingly, senior state minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said such protests were "natural" and that the government was looking for a legal opinion following the Supreme Court's order.
The GRTC suspended its services in northern parts of the state where violent mobs set ablaze or damaged as many as eight buses in the past two days.
Protests were held at some places in Gandhinagar, Kheda Banaskantha and Surat by members of the Rajput community, with agitating groups setting on fire a GRTC bus on the Ahmedabad- Kheda highway this afternoon.
Stones were also hurled at another bus at Unava village near Gandhinagar. Protesters blocked several roads such as the Ahmedabad- Indore Highway and a road connecting Banaskantha to Rajasthan, police officials said.
In Surat, members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena and some other groups took to streets in the Katargam, Kapodra and Puna areas, police said. The state in-charge DGP Pramod Kumar announced deployment of the State Reserve Police (SRP) and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) to tackle the situation, as protests spread, particularly in Surat.
"During the last 48 hours, some people in the garb of holding protests, have tried to disturb peace in the state by engaging in arson, damaging property and by blocking roads. As many as eight buses have been either set ablaze or damaged in north Gujarat during this period," Kumar told reporters in Gandhinagar.
"In view of the current situation, I have asked police officials to take a stern action against the perpetrators," he said, adding that several people have been arrested in connection with the protests.
"We will not spare any one who will break the law. Along with regular police, we have deployed SRP and RAF in affected areas," the top cop said.
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