As the controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film "Padmavati" continued to simmer, a fringe group today targeted actress Deepika Padukone, announcing a reward of Rs 1 crore for anyone "burning her alive".
Members of the Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha (ABKM) burnt over a hundred effigies of Padukone, who plays legendary Rajput queen Padmavati in the movie, and Bhansali at Damodar Swarup park here and shouted slogans against them. They also took out a march to the collectorate office and submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate demanding a ban on the release of the movie.
ABKM's youth wing leader Bhuvneshwar Singh said, "Deepika should know how it feels like to be burnt alive. The actress will never know the sacrifice of the queen. Any person burning her alive will be given Rs 1 crore. We demand that office- bearers of the organisation be shown the movie before it is released." Asked about Bhuvneshwar Singh's threatening remarks, Superintendent of Police Rohit Singh Sahjawan said a report had been sought in this regard. "We have sought a report from the policemen on duty. Thereafter, action will be taken," he said.
"Padmavati" has been facing protests over the alleged "distortion of historical facts" in the film. Earlier this year, Bhansali was roughed up by members of the fringe group Rajput Karni Sena in Jaipur. Its elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur. Padukone and Bhansali have also received threats. Their security has been beefed up by the Mumbai police. Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artistes calling it an attack on creative freedom.