Heavy security as Bollywood epic Padmaavat opens in Indian cinemas


The Bollywood epic Padmaavat has opened in cinemas across India under blanket security after months of fierce protests. The film crew has been attacked, sets have been vandalised, hardliners have threatened to mutilate the lead actor and Indian states have pleaded with the supreme court and prime minister to ban the film.Violent mobs rampaged through several Indian cities this week in a last-ditch effort to stop the film, which is based on a five-century-old poem about a Hindu queen, Padmini, who immolates herself rather than be captured by a conquering Muslim ruler. In Mumbai, mobs have set fire to cars. In Gurgaon, a satellite city south of Delhi, people set fire to a bus and pelted stones. A school bus in Haryana state was attacked on Wednesday, while riot police clashed with hundreds of protesters in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat states.There was a heavy security presence outside north Indian cinemas screening the film on Thursday. Indian media reported that several venues had been attacked in Bihar and that a man had attempt to self-immolate outside a cinema in Varanasi.(theguardian)…[+]