Ahmedabad: Theatre owners in Gujarat today said Padmaavat will not be screened in any of the multiplexes or single screens in the state till the row over the film is resolved, even as police arrested 50 people in connection with the violence outside malls here last night.
The Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association said the decision has been taken for the safety of customers as well as to save their property.
Around 15 people were arrested late last night and 35 more were taken into custody today on charges of arson and rioting, police said.
As many as 30 bikes and scooters, parked outside three multiplexes in the city, were set ablaze by protesters last night, the city’s fire control room said.
To control the situation, police had fired two rounds in the air and also lobbed tear gas shells, Joint Commissioner of Police JK Bhatt said.
“The mob, which was part of the candle march that took place near ISKCON temple on the SG Highway, first reached the Acropolis Mall and damaged vehicles. The mob did the same at the Himalaya Mall. They later burnt vehicles and tyres outside the AlphaOne mall in Vastrapur area,” said Bhatt.
“Acting swiftly, police had arrested around 15 to 16 people involved in these incidents from the spot itself. To control the mob, we were forced to fire two rounds in the air. Tear gas shells were also lobbed,” Bhatt told reporters.
Around 35 more people accused of rioting and arson were arrested by the Vastrapur and Satellite police today, the officials at both the police stations said.
The Acropolis Mall houses the PVR multiplex, Himalaya Mall has the Carnival Cinemas while the Cinepolis multiplex is in the premises of the AlphaOne mall.
The venue of the candle march was in the jurisdiction of the Satellite police, while all the three multiplexes are within the limits of the Vastrapur police station.
After the large-scale violence yesterday, the Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association announced that the movie will not be released at any of their theatres.
“Following yesterday’s violence, all the multiplexes in Gujarat have unanimously decided not to screen the movie till the matter is resolved. We have taken the decision for the safety of our customers as well as to save our property,” the association’s president, Manubhai Patel, said.
He said even the owners of single-screen theatres have informed the association that they will refrain from screening the movie.
“Though we are given security cover by police, we do not want to take any chances. What if protesters enter the theatre after buying tickets?” Patel asked.