Bollywood movie Padmaavat faces a total blackout on the day of its scheduled release on Thursday in at least four big states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar — with cinema and multiplex owners firm against screening the movie, while in Uttar Pradesh, cinema owners are in a dilemma, said a media report.
In Gujarat, according to the Times of India, a day after mindless vandalism and arson by mobs of Rajput groups in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association, Cinematograph Exhibitors' Association of Gujarat and Multiplex Association of India declared that the film will not be screened in the state.
"The association has decided not to screen Padmaavat in 120 cinemas across Gujarat, including 32 in Ahmedabad, till a compromise is reached between Karni Sena and film producers," said the report GMOA chief Manubhai Patel as having said.
Almost all cinema halls across the state had put up notice boards outside their premises informing audiences about the no-show, said the report.
A virtual repeat of the Gujarat, mentioned the report was played out in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh where Central Cine Circuit Association announced it couldn't release the film in the wake of threats of violence by MP Rajput Samaj, which is spearheading the campaign against the film.
CCCA president Jai Prakash Chaukse, according to the report said: "We'd have liked to release the movie, but have decided not to risk life and property. The state government has failed to assure us security and seems to be backing groups opposed to the release of the film."
In Rajasthan, the epicenter of protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film, cinema and multiplex owners had already decided against screening the film, said the report.
Though no official stand was taken by their counterparts in Bihar, there are no takers for releasing the film in the eastern state too, the report said.
The Multiplex Association of India said it has decided not to screen the film in four states, said the report. "We have decided not to play the film in four states—Rajasthan, Gujarat, MP and Goa—as the local management has told us that the law and order situation is not conducive," report mentioned Deepak Asher, president of the association as having said.