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HC judge attends special screening of ‘Padmaavat’, to decide on FIR against Bhansali, others today


Padmaavat, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Padmaavat director, Padmaavat row, Padmaavat protest, Karni Sena

Jodhpur: A battery of police personnel was on guard on Monday as “Padmaavat” was screened for a Rajasthan High Court judge, who would decide on a plea for quashing an FIR against the period film’s director and actors after watching it.

The special screening of the Bollywood film started at 8 pm and was over by 10.40 pm, after which Justice Sandeep Mehta, accompanied by four members of his staff, left the multiplex.

A total of 200 police personnel, including an additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) and three assistant commissioners of police (ACPs), took care of the law-and-order situation in the city in view of the special screening of the film.

“We had deployed 200 policemen around the cinema hall, where ‘Padmaavat’ was screened this evening,” DCP (East) Amandeep Singh said.

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He added that among those deployed were an official of the ADCP rank and three ACPs, along with eight station house officers (SHOs) from various police stations.

Justice Mehta, his reader and two other staff members were the only viewers of the film.

The judge had ordered a discreet screening this evening amid adequate security arrangements after a prayer from the petitioner, the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s legal counsel, Nishant Bora.

Bora said after watching the film, the judge would decide on Bhansali’s plea to quash an FIR against him and actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone on Tuesday.

Special arrangements were also put in place at the multiplex by its management for the special screening of the film.

“Nobody else was allowed in the hall during the screening,” said an employee of the multiplex. Meanwhile, the head of Rajput outfit Karni Sena, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, arrived in Jodhpur this evening.

He is expected to be present in the court during the hearing of the case tomorrow.

The Karni Sena has been protesting against the film as, according to them, history has been distorted in it.

Bhansali has said his film is based on 16th-century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem, “Padmavat”.