Release of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial period film Padmavati might be deferred if not outrightly banned in Uttar Pradesh. Talking to TOI, Sharma said, "There is so much turmoil in the state, which is fast spreading to other parts of the country".
The letter further stated that "in view of the civic polls, polling for which is scheduled on November 22, November 26 and November 29 and the counting on December 1, and also the Barawafat procession by Muslims on December 2, the film's release can pose serious security issues".
The organisation also alleged that Bhansali has hurt the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus while asking the censor board to take into consideration all these objections while censoring the film. "Hence, the state government should not allow screening of the film". "And in case of the film's release on December 1, we will have to ensure the safety and security of theatres".
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The film is yet to be cleared by CBFC and by requesting the union broadcasting ministry to apprise the CBFC members with the sentiments of the people, the state government has virtually sought a ban on the film - a demand made by Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, the Rajput body which feels that the character of Rajput queen Padmavati has been negatively portrayed in the movie. The movie features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmini, alongside Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Jim Sarbh and Aditi Rao Hydari.
"Following threat of widespread violent protest and in view of our prior commitments due to counting of votes and Barawafat, it is not in the interest of public interest to release the film on December 1 as it would be very hard for the state to maintain law and order and establish peace", pointed Kumar. "These organisations have also warned of demonstrations with ruckus and arson in cinema halls if the movie is screened", it said.
The letter is the latest in the controversy over the film after repeated incidents of agitation and vandalisation by members of the Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan.