Jaipur: Protesters today blocked the entry to the Chhittorgarh Fort, which houses Padmini’s Palace, amid protests against Bollywood film ‘Padmavati’ across Rajasthan and various parts of the country. However, SP of Chhittorgarh Prashan Kumar Khamsera said the fort, a world heritage site in Rajasthan, is not officially closed.
“We have been informed by the protesters that entry to the fort will be blocked for tourists. We have made ample security arrangements to deal with the situation,” he said.
Member of Sarv Samaj Sangathan and president of Jauhar Samriti Sansthan, Ummed Singh said, “A dharna demanding a ban on ‘Padmavati’ is continuing for the last eight days at Padan Pole. The Chhittorgarh Fort will be closed for tourists today.”
The Sarv Samaj Sangathan and some other outfits have termed a song in the film, which shows actor Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmini dancing in a courtyard, “crossing dramatic license”. The Karni Sena had alleged distortion of historical facts in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film starring Padukone, Shahid Kapur and Ranveer Singh.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) managing director Pradeep Kumar Borad has ruled out any change in operations of luxury train – Palace on Wheels – and said the train would be operating through the circuit and will be going to Chhittorgarh.
On whether the tourists would be taken to Chhittorgarh Fort, he said the local administration be able to comment on it better.
In March, Chittorgarh Fort was vandalised by a group of men who broke mirrors installed at the Padmini Palace of the Rajput queen. Three mirrors installed at the Padmini Palace were damaged by four-five unidentified men.
The controversy over the film had taken an ugly turn yesterday as a leader of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena cited Ramayana’s Surpanakha nose-chopping incident and warned Deepika Padukone against “inciting” sentiments. Following this the Mumbai Police tightened the security of Padukone. Police have beefed up security at Bhansali’s residence in Versova in the city.
A Brahmin group also conducted a signature campaign in blood demanding a ban on the film.
Even the Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer has issued a statement requesting a ban.
Activists of the Karni Sena had on Tuesday vandalised a theatre in Kota, Rajasthan, over reports that it was showing a trailer of “Padmavati”.
In January, activists of the Karni Sena had manhandled with the crew of “Padmavati” in Jaipur, claiming that Bhansali was “distorting” historical facts in the movie.
They had also damaged some cameras and other equipment. Bhansali had to stop shooting.
“They are trying to defame queen Padmavati by distorting historical facts. It is not acceptable,” an activist of the Karni Sena said.
In March, some miscreants broke the mirrors at the Padmini Mahal in Chittorgarh Fort where Alauddin Khilji is alleged to have seen Rani Padmavati or Padmini’s reflection.
The Karni Sena claims the mirror story was invented years later.