Padmavat row: Ahmedabad malls vandalised; Section 144 in Gurgaon

AHMEDABAD: A protest against release of controversial Bollywood film Padmaavat in Gujarat turned violent on Tuesday, after fringe group went on the rampage vandalising theatres and multiplexes and shops and set more than three dozen vehicles ablaze.

It’s unfortunate that despite decision of the cinema halls association to not to release movie in cinema halls, they resorted to such violence.

More than 150 four-wheelers and two-wheelers were damaged as mobs of around 2000 went on the rampage after 8pm, targeting three malls with multiplexes and a standalone theatre complex in the western part of the city.

Three city malls – Acropolis, Ahmedabad One, Himalaya Mall – and Cinemex, the standalone theatre complex, came under attack despite theatre owners in the city declaring they would not screen Padmaavat.

Police had to fire in the air to disperse the mob and use force in some places in Ujjain where the protesters turned violent.

In Gurgaon, prohibitory orders have been imposed here till Sunday to maintain law and order situation, in view of Shree Rajput Karni Sena threatening to target theatres screening the film.

There are over 40 multiplexes and cinema halls in Gurgaon. Karni Sena has been the most vociferous of the fringe groups opposing the period drama, alleging that historical facts were distorted in the movie.

However, the Haryana government has said that it would implement the Supreme Court order that allows the screening of the movie. Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said, “Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in view of release of the ‘Padmaavat’ in various cinema halls and multiplexes on January 25 as there is likelihood of law and order disturbance.”

“Following imposition of Section 144, there is prohibition on presence of people carrying firearms and other articles capable of causing injury, raising slogans and exhibiting placards within 200 meters radius of the cinema halls and multiplexes from January 23 to January 28,” Singh said.

The Supreme Court had earlier paved the way for the all- India release of “Padmaavat” on January 25 and stayed notifications and orders issued by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat — all ruled by the BJP — prohibiting exhibition of the film in their states.

PTI inputs