Many theatres in UP decide against screening ‘Padmaavat’

Lucknow: Many theatres and multiplexes in Uttar Pradesh, including the state capital, on Thursday refused to screen controversial film “Padmaavat”, citing “lack of security”.

The 10.15 a.m. show at the Wave multiplex in Gomti Nagar here was cancelled as owners of the mall feared for the safety of the property and cinegoers.

Not a single policeman was present at the Mall, contrary to the claims of the police department that adequate security would be given to the people and cinema halls to screen the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, which is being bitterly opposed by Rajputs and the Karni Sena.

However, the 11.30 a.m. show at Inox was on schedule.

As many as two dozen people have so far been rounded up for protests, effigy burning and demonstrations. On Wednesday a group of youngsters tried to barge into the Wave multiplex here but were foiled by the security. Protests were held in Etawah, Agra, Kanpur, Mathura and Allahabad.

Some people stopped a train at Mathura outer to protest against the release of the film.

ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar has said that no one would be allowed to disrupt the release of the film and pointed out that strict orders have been issued to all police chiefs in districts to rein in any lumpen elements who try to disrupt public peace.

The Film Exhibitors Association (FEA) has said that it will first monitor the situation on Thursday and then take a call on screening film in Lucknow and theatres at other places.

They informed that the 6.10 p.m., 6.45 p.m., 9.45 p.m. and 10.15 p.m. shows at SRS Mall and Wave Mall have been cancelled by the Mall authorities. FEA general secretary Ashish Agarwal said that at first two-two shows had been decided for the premiere but were since cancelled.

In another development, members of the International Kshatriya Veerangana Foundation (an outfit of Rajput woman) has also joined the Karni Sena to protest against the screening of the film and announced that they will go on a symbolic fast against the “wrong portrayal of Rajput women” in the film that stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.

General Secretary of the foundation, Seema Shahi Singh said: “Maharani Padmini was known for her valour, purity and sacrifices and the film is showing just the reverse as seen in the trailer and we will never tolerate this.”

Some single theatre owners, however, are screening the film.

Rajesh Tandon, manager of the well-known Novelty cinema in the state capital, said the film is running in his theatre as there was enough police presence.