Controversial Bollywood Hindi movie Padmaavat was released Thursday in India amid tight security barring four Indian states that witnessed protests and violence.
The fringe groups like the Karni Sena (claiming to represent Rajput community) rampaged through several states, clashing with police, burning vehicles and vandalising malls.
However, defying threats by protesting groups, hundreds of people in different parts of the India turned up in cinema halls and multiplexes to see the film.
Fearing violence theater owners in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa said they will not screen the film.
A contempt petition has been filed in Supreme Court against the four states for failing to control the mob despite court’s order to ensure law and order.
Schools in Gurugram on the outskirts of Delhi were closed a day after protesters opposing the film targeted school buses and resorted to vandalism.
Reports of violence poured in from many Indian cities with members opposing the film targeting cinemas and malls, besides staging protests.
The new city to witness protests is Patna, the capital city of Bihar.
The opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi has hit out at the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party, BJP, for failing to maintain law and order in states it rules.
“The BJP’s use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire,” Gandhi tweeted.
Protesters say director of the film Sanjay Leela Bhansali wrongly showcases a romantic relationship between the Hindu queen (Padmavati) and Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji.
Padmaavat is based on the legend of Rani Padmini of Chittor.
Famous Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is playing the role of legendary Rajput queen Padmavati.
The film stars Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh, the last Rajput ruler and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji.
Initially the film was named Padmavati.
However, in wake of massive protests, India’s Central Board of Film Certification locally called censor board asked its makers to undertake dozens of cuts besides renaming it.
Bhansali has been at the center of a huge controversy with the Karni Sena accusing him of distorting history in the movie.
However, he has repeatedly denied the allegations and released a video clarifying that his film does not distort history.
The film ran into trouble ever since its shooting.
Its sets were vandalized twice and Bhansali was also attacked during one such shoot.