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Padmavati row: Rajput group threatens Deepika with physical harm

Elsewhere, a brahmin community group held a 'blood signature' campaign demanding a ban on the film while the dargah at Ajmer supported the call.


Rajput groups continue to try and whip up hysteria against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's forthcoming film Padmavati with one member even threatening film star Deepika Padukone with physical harm for supposedly provocative statements.

Elsewhere, a brahmin community group held a 'blood signature' campaign demanding a ban on the film while the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer issued a statement supporting the call for a ban.

On Wednesday, dubbing Padukone's statement that no one could stop the film's release 'provocative', the Rajput Karni Sena had called for a countrywide shutdown on 1 December, the day the film is scheduled to hit the theatres.

Today, Mahipal Singh Makrana, Rajasthan chief of the group, said, "No kshatriya will ever raise a hand on a woman. We advise and request Deepika not to give provocative statements, otherwise it will become a big law-and-order situation.

"Hum to sirf nasiyat de rahe hain ki is tarah ke statements na dein ki kahin Lakshman aur Shurpanakha wala issue na ban jaye [We only advise against making such statements as it could lead to a Lakshman-Shurpanaka situation]," he said, in an obvious threat. In the epic Ramayana, Ram's brother Lakshman chops off the nose and ears of Ravana's sister Shurpanakha.

"We are requesting not to show anything which hurts our sentiments... but no one is listening, while on the other hand provocative statements are being issued," he said, ignoring the threats issued and violence perpetrated by his own followers over the past few months, and called for a ban on the film.

In the latest instance, some goons from the group vandalized a theatre in Kota, Rajasthan, on Tuesday as it was supposedly showing a Padmavati trailer. In January, activists of the group had manhandled the Padmavati crew and damaged equipment in Jaipur, claiming that Bhansali was distorting history. In March, some miscreants smashed the mirrors at the Padmini Mahal at Chittor fort where Delhi sultan Alauddin Khilji is alleged to have first seen the queen. The Rajput group claims the mirror story was a later invention.

Meanwhile, the Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha, another caste grouping, organized a 'blood signature' campaign on Thursday and will send a petition to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) requesting it to ban the film.

The diwan of the Ajmer dargah, popularly known as the Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz dargah, Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, said opposition to the film is correct as it hurts religious sentiments. "Muslims should support it," he said and requested prime minister Narendra Modi to ban the film.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajasthan unit chief Ashok Parnami also said the Vasundhara Raje government in the state would not tolerate any distortion of history. "Our history is glorious," he proclaimed. "We will not tolerate any distortion in historical facts."

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