Gujarat: Mobs Set Vehicles Ablaze As Protests Turn Violent On 'Padmaavat' Release

| January 24 , 2018 , 12:36 IST

Anti-Padmaavat protests continued on Wednesday, despite the impending release date, unleashing violence in several parts of Ahmedabad. At least 30 motorcycles were set on fire and many other vehicles were damaged. The police commissioner of Ahmedabad A.K. Singh said that several people were arrested over the violence.

"Some anti-social elements today damaged vehicles outside three malls in the name of holding protests. It is a matter of investigation that who exactly was behind these acts. We have arrested several persons who were involved in the violence," Singh said.

An official from city police control room said the mob first set 21 bikes on fire which were parked in the premises of the Acropolis mall, which houses the PVR multiplex.

Afterwards, the same mob reached Himalaya mall, which houses Carnival Cinemas and wrecked havoc by torching several bikes parked outside it, the official said. Then the protesters torched around 10 bikes parked outside the AlphaOne mall, which houses Cinepolis multiplex,  he added.

Police further said around 200 protesters went around multiplexes on the upmarket SG Highway in Ahmedabad and burnt down more than a dozen two-wheelers and other vehicles as well as pelted cinemas with stones. However, there were no reports of injuries. 

The incidents of arson coincided with the visit of Rajput Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi, who is spearheading the protests against the movie across the country.

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Gujarat Deputy chief minister Nitin Pal advised people to boycott the movie while appealing them to stay calm.

"Police will stake stern actions", he said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat minister for home affairs Pradeepshin Jadeja said:"The situation deteriorated after some of the protesters, who took part in the candle march against the movie at S G Highway, reached these malls, we will take strict action against the perpetrators".

The mall manager Rakesh Mehta told that people attacked mall even though it had displayed boards outside saying the film will not be screened there.

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On Tuesday, a Hindutva outfit in New Delhi also threatened cinema hall owners with “aggressive demonstrations” if theatres screened the filmThe group, the Hindu Sena, said it has formed 10 teams to stop the screening of the film in the national Capital.

The movie, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, is based on the saga of the historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. The film has been facing protests by the Karni Sena and other fringe groups.

The film is releasing on January 25, across the nation and getting mixed reviews by media.