Rajasthan theatres cancel Panipat screening over row

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National Democratic Party protest against screenings of Panipat in Jaipur on Monday. (Express photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

Several movie theatres in Rajasthan decided not to screen Ashutosh Gowariker’s film Panipat following protests by the Jat community against the movie and incidents of vandalism.

The movie, that was released on Friday, is based on the third battle of Panipat fought between the Maratha empire and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali. It has run into controversy over its portrayal of the 18th century ruler of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mal.

On Monday, members from the Jat community protested in Jaipur and burned effigies of makers of the film. “We demand that the film be immediately banned. If it’s not done, we will take things into our hands...” said Mahipal Mahla, national spokesperson, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party.

A multiplex where the movie was being shown was vandalised on Monday morning. “Five people went inside the theatre after buying tickets and later vandalised the place. We have arrested all of them under CrPC Section 151,” said Rai Singh Beniwal, assistant commissioner of police, Vaishali Nagar.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Monday that the censor board should intervene and take cognizance of the issue. Deputy CM Sachin Pilot said the characterisation of any person who contributed to history should be done thoroughly.-With PTI inputs