A Haryana Roadways bus was set ablaze and another vandalised in Bhondsi area in Gurugram district by a group of around 50 men, alleged to be Shri Rajput Karni Sena supporters, on Wednesday to protest against the movie Padmaavat.
They also pelted stones at the Haryana Police personnel deployed on the Gurugram-Alwar National Highway, injuring a few policemen. A school bus carrying children and staff was also damaged in stone-pelting, though no one was said to be injured.
Road traffic was disrupted for hours in the area following the violent protest by youths belonging to the Rajput community who had their faces covered.
The protesters ordered the passengers on the government bus to alight before torching the vehicle. Police said two persons have been detained for the violence.
Prohibitory orders have been imposed here till Sunday to maintain law and order in view of the Karni Sena’s threat to target theatres screening the film. There are over 40 multiplexes and cinema halls in Gurugram.
“Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans unlawful assembly, has been imposed in view of ‘Padmaavat‘ release in various cinema halls and multiplexes on January 25 as there is likelihood of law and order problem,” the official said.
As per Section 144, people are banned from carrying firearms and other articles capable of causing injury, raising slogans and exhibiting placards within a 200-metre radius of cinema and multiplexes from January 23 to January 28.
Police said a man had been arrested at the PVR City Center Mall on the Mehrauli-Gurugram Road and a suspicious chemical powder seized from him.
“The youth was held by Sector 29 police. He said he planned to throw the red power, suspected to be some chemical, on the cinema screen after mixing it with water to prevent the movie’s screening,” a senior police officer told IANS.
Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh denied reports that bars and pubs in the city have been ordered to close in the wake of the violent protests.
“No order for closure of pubs and bars from 7 p.m. onwards has been issued by the district administration. The situation is peaceful and schools, colleges and offices will open normally on Thursday,” Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said in a statement.
Gurugram Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said the force was ready to tackle all situations. Around 550 more policemen have been deployed to ensure smooth traffic and law and order in the city.
The Haryana government has said that it would implement the Supreme Court order for providing security to ensure the movie’s screening.
The movie is slated for release in four cinemas in the city.
Earlier, Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi had said here that he would not allow Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat to be released “at any cost” and warned that if cinemas went ahead with the January 25 release it would lead to an “enormous outburst of people”.