Protests in Bihar against 'Padmaavat', many theatres refuse to screen film
Patna, Jan 25 (IANS) Violent protests by Shree Rajput Karni Sena and other Rajput organisations against "Padmaavat" continued in Bihar on Thursday, with a mob attacking a cinema hall in Bihar Sharif while cinema hall owners in several districts refused to screen the controversial film.
Unconfirmed reports said that Karni Sena activists have attacked more than half a dozen cinema halls across Bihar.
A mob in Nalanda district's Bihar Sharif town attacked a cinema hall, tore up posters of the film, damaged vehicles and threatened to set ablaze the theatre if the film is screened.
Fearing repercussions from the Karni Sena, all cinema hall owners in Vaishali, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Purnea districts have decided not to screen the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film on Thursday -- the day it is being released across India.
In Bihar Sharif, a group of Rashtriya Rajput Mahasabha activists ransacked Kisan Cinema hall and warned the staff not to go ahead with the screening. Nalanda is the home district of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
In Bhojpur and Buxar districts, activists of Karni Sena along with Rajpur Mahasabha staged violent protests, forcing cinema owners not to screen the film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.
The Karni Sena and other Rajput organisations staged protest against the film in over a dozen districts and threatened to target cinema halls against screening the film, a police official said.
The groups staged protest against "Padmaavat" in Patna, Gaya, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Bhojpur, Supaul, Aurangabad, Nawada, Saharsa and Sarah districts.
In Patna, cinema halls did not start advance booking of tickets for "Padmaavat". Earlier this week, online booking for the film was stopped following protest and threats by Karni Sena activists.
Karni Sena's state president Dhirender Singh said: "We will not allow release of 'Padmaavat' and I request people not to watch it as a respect to others' sentiments."
Karni Sena has been staging protest against "Padmaavat" across the state for the last 10 days.
Last week, a group of Karni Sena activists attacked a cinema hall in Muzaffarpur district, tore up posters of the film and threatened to set ablaze the hall if the film is screened, police said.