Bhansali assaulted on ‘Padmavati’ sets in Jaipur

Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and roughed up by members of a caste-based outfit at Jaipur’s historic Jaigarh Fort on Friday, where the filmmaker was shooting for his upcoming film ‘Padmavati’. The mob also vandalised the movie’s set and damaged crew’s equipment.

Scores of men, affiliated to Rajput Karni Sena, breached private security arrangements and stormed the fort at 12.30pm, raising slogans against Bhansali and his under-production movie. They alleged that Rajasthan's history was distorted in the movie.

“While the film crew and the producer's private guards tried to stop the protesters, one protester pulled Bhansali by the hair and slapped him. Bhansali's private security guards formed a ring around him in order to safely escort him out of the chaos. The crew dialled the police helpline number and the Amber police reached the spot," a police official at Amer police station told a leading daily.

"The movie depicts love scenes between Rani Padmini of Chittor and Alauddin Khilji. This is an outrageous distortion of Rajasthan's history as Rani-ji immolated herself along with the other women of the fort when they heard that Khilji was marching ahead to take over the fort," Karni Sena state president Mahipal Makrana said, adding that "jauhar (self-immolation)" by the queen of Chittor was an act of bravery that was "well-established" in the state's history books. "We will not allow anyone to peddle lies and cheat with the honour and dignity of idols at any cost (sic)," he added.

Police set up a meeting between Bhansali and the Karni Sena after the incident. "Bhansali said the Sena's allegations were unfounded as the movie did not depict any such scene between the two. We asked Bhansali if he would like to file and FIR, but he refused," said DCP Anshuman Bohmia, who was part of the meeting.

He added that Bhansali hasn’t filed any complaint about being manhandled. "He did not tell us about any such incident. He has legal permission to shoot the movie here," the senior police official added.

Police have arrested five protesters under CrPC Section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences).

Previously, Karni Sena had protested over Ashutosh Gowariker’s 2008 film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ over “inaccurate portrayal of history”. In 2014, it had attacked the office of Zee Media here over television serial ‘Jodha Akbar’.