Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said today that most theatre owners in the state had voluntarily decided to not screen controversial Bollywood film ‘Padmaavat’ as he emphasised that the state government was trying its best to maintain law and order.
The deputy chief minister’s comments came on a day when Karni Sena leader Lokendra Singh Kalvi issued a veiled threat suggesting there could be violence if the Bollywood flick was released despite widespread opposition.
“Most theatres have declined to screen the film, despite the green signal from the Supreme Court. They have taken the decision voluntarily. The government is trying its best to maintain law and order in the state,” Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar.
In Porbandar, Mahatama Gandhi’s birthplace, Kalvi said that when so many people from all walks of life were standing firm against the film, it will be a “huge insult for all of us” if it releases on January 25.
“I respect the ethos of non-violence propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. I too believe that non-violence is absolutely necessary. Therefore, do not compel us to take to the path of violence,” he said. There were no violent protests against the film in Gujarat today.
Surat police arrested 19 individuals, accused of holding violent protests against the film in the city two days ago, taking the number of arrests to 42. The city saw violent protests on January 21. “Yesterday we had arrested 23 persons. Today, 19 more were arrested, including the two who misbehaved with a woman police officer,” said Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma.
“We have learnt that those arrested in connection with the violence in Katargam were members of Karni Sena, Mahakal Sena and Bhavani Sena,” he added.
“Though we have assured police protection to cinema owners, they have informed us that none of them will screen the film on January 25. They also told us that the decision as to whether to screen the film on a later date will be taken afterwards,” Sharma said.
Commenting on the screening of the movie padmavat in Ahmedabad, PVR spokesperson said “PVR Cinemas is not screening the movie Padmavat at their theatres in Ahmedabad city.
The Supreme Court had on Thursday paved the way for the nationwide release of “Padmaavat” on January 25 by lifting the ban on the screening of the film in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Today, the Supreme Court refused to modify its order, rejecting pleas filed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments.