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Padmaavat row: Buses burnt in Noida, women in Chittorgarh seek permission 'to end lives' 

As Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film nears its release date, protests by the fringe Rajput Karni Sena have intensified.

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Our Correspondent

Protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming Padmaavat intensified on Sunday, 21 January, with the fringe outfit Rajput Karni Sena blocking busy roads in Gurgaon and Noida, as well as attacking public and private vehicles in parts of Gujarat, according to a report in Times Of India, a daily.

The fringe outfit is protesting the portrayal of the fictional legend of Rani Padmavati in Bhansali's film. 

Several women members of the party marched to Chittorgarh fort in a 'chetavni' (warning) rally on Sunday. Reports suggest more than 1,500 women have registered to commit 'jauhar' (self-immolation) if the authorities do not concede to their terms. Armed with swords, the women submitted a memorandum to the district collector, Indrajeet Singh, with two options, either stop  the release of Padmaavat, or allow the women to commit jauhar. 

The Rajput Karni Sena also indulged in acts of violence in other states like Gujarat, where they blocked traffic on the Ahmedabad-Udaipur highway. In Surat, the protestors pelted stones at passing vehicles, burnt tyres and clashed with the police in some areas. Surat's commissioner of police, Satish Sharma, was quoted by Scroll.in, a news website, saying, "We are registering cases of rioting, damage to public property and assault on government servants against the protestors." 

The outfit's spokesperson Vijendra Singh was quoted saying that the Karni Sena will approach cinema halls across the country requesting them not to screen the film in order to avoid violent protests. "On Sunday, we contacted around 100 cinema halls in the National Capital Region and they have given in writing that they will not screen the film," he said. 

As per the latest reports, the state governments of Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have again petitioned the Supreme Court to rethink their judgement regarding the release of Bhansali's film. 

The Supreme Court had, last week, rapped the four state governments saying that they do not have the right to ban a film that has been approved by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and have the responsibility of providing protection for the screenings. 

As of date, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat is set to be release on 24 January. 

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