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Padmavati row: Gates of Chittor fort to remain closed in protest today

The protest means tourists will face the brunt of various Rajput groups that are up in arms against the film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Our Correspondent

The doors of UNESCO World Heritage Site Chittor fort in Rajasthan will remain closed today as a mark of protest towards Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, reported The Times of India. The place is a well-known destination that attracts a large number of tourists daily.

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Even the roads leading up to the fort, which are normally swamped with tourists, is full of policemen and protesters today. Tourists visiting the fort as part of the weekly Palace On Wheels train tour will also be denied entry inside.

"We have closed the first gate known as Padan Pol gate since 10am. We are not allowing anyone to enter the fort. It is a peaceful protest and will continue till 6pm," member of Sarv Samaj Protest Committee Ranjit Singh told IANS. Tourists visiting the fort were requested to go back, he said.

On an average over 3,000-4,000 tourists visit the fort starting from October, as the tourist season picks up.

"We have just started our protest and around 400-450 people are sitting on dharna outside the gate. The number is likely to increase as the day progresses," said KK Sharma, a member of the protest committee.

Explaining their firm stand against Pamavati, Gopal Namdev, a member of the Sarv Samaj Protest Committee told TOI, “Rani Padmini is like Sita Mata for the people of Mewar. She is highly revered and worshipped in our families but the movie features her in bad light. We also believe that the movie has a sequence stating Rani Padmini was shown to Khilji through a mirror. This is a fabrication of facts that shows Rajput warriors as weak and incompetent.”

That’s not all. The member claimed to have information about the climax of the film without even watching it. “The movie, as far as our information goes, ends showing Raja Ratan Singh surrendering against the barbarian Alauddin Khilji and projects the real hero in bad light,” he added.

The protests against the film have been rising. Yesterday, a member of the Rajput group threatened to physically harm Deepika Padukone who plays the lead role of Padmavati. On the same day, members of a Brahmin group held a blood signature campaign demanding a ban on the film. Even the Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer has issued a statement requesting a ban.

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