Video: Karni Sena workers burn tyres, disrupt traffic on Sion-Panvel highway to protest against Padmaavat release

Video: Karni Sena workers burn tyres, disrupt traffic on Sion-Panvel highway to protest against Padmaavat release
The protestors disrupted traffic on the Sion-Panvel highway on Monday evening

In a blatant attempt at publicising its cause, around two dozen alleged members of Rajput Karni Sena protested against the release of ‘Padmaavat’ by burning tyres in the middle of the Sion-Panvel highway during peak hours on Monday evening.

According to an official with Navi Mumbai police, around 25 members of the fringe group threw tyres on the Sion-Panvel highway and lit them on fire to create a blockade and disrupt the flow of traffic around 7:45 pm today.

Video: Karni Sena workers burn tyres, disrupt traffic on Sion-Panvel highway to protest against Padmaavat release 1
Road blocked near Vashi on Sion-Panvel highway (Picture Courtesy: Binu Varghese)

The attempted ‘raasta roko’ between Vashi toll plaza and Vashi gaon inconvenienced thousands of motorists as traffic on both north and south-bound lanes was affected due to the bonfire of tyres.

The protestors also burnt posters and shouted slogans against ‘Padmaavat’ and its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. While agitators continued to protest, commuters were stuck in a massive traffic snarl, with some having to wait for over an hour.

The situation improved after police teams reached the spot and removed the burning tyres from the road. The protestors, however, fled by the time cops arrived.

The traffic situation has normalised as of publishing this report. The police, meanwhile, is on the lookout for miscreants responsible for wreaking havoc on the highway.

“An offence is being registered at Vashi police station and search is on to trace the culprits,” said Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale.

Controversy:

‘Padmaavat’ courted controversy after several Rajput factions and right-wing groups like the Karni Sena accused the makers of portraying the erstwhile Rajput queen in bad light.

The groups resorted to violence and vandalism, first to stop the film from completion and later to halt its release. They even threatened theatre owners from screening the film.

Four states subsequently banned the film in their respective states, a decision that the Supreme Court overturned last week. The order, however, has done little to deter the factions, who continue to intensify their protests as the film nears its release date.

The 150-crore period drama, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is scheduled to release on January 25.

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