Padmavati row: Haryana BJP leader booked for offering bounty on Padukone, Bhansali



															Members of Kshatriya Swabhiman Sabha burn an effigy of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Gurgaon on Tuesday.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The police had filed an FIR against Suraj Pal Amu at Sector 29 police station

A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Haryana was booked by Gurgaon Police for criminal intimidation on Tuesday, two days after he offered a bounty of Rs10 crore for beheading lead actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali of the film Padmavati.

The police filed a first information report at Gurgaon’s Sector 29 police station on the complaint of an “art lover and fan” of Padukone and Bhansali against Suraj Pal Amu, the ruling party’s media coordinator in Haryana.

Officials said Amu was booked under section 506 of the Indian Penal Code and that they would call him for questioning.

“We have filed the FIR and started a probe in the matter as per law,” assistant sub-inspector Sunil Kumar, the investigating officer in the case, said.

The complainant Pawan Kumar, a resident of Chakkarpur village in Gurgaon, said he was “deeply hurt” after watching the video in which the leader issued the bounty against Padukone and Bhansali on Sunday.

“They both face threat from Suraj Pal Amu as such action should be initiated against him,” 42-year-old Kumar said.

The Haryana unit of the BJP distanced itself from Amu’s remarks on Monday and issued a show cause notice asking him to explain his statement. A BJP functionary said though Amu issued a statement in his personal capacity, he has been asked to give an explanation in a week or face disciplinary action.

“We are law-abiding people. But if anyone plays with our society, caste, and country’s history then I would not have any problem in breaking law. I am ready to face arrest to save country’s history,” Amu said in his defence.

Rajput organisations, led by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, across the country are up in arms against the movie which they claim is a distortion of history and depicts an “amorous relationship” between Padmavati – portrayed by Padukone – and Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji – played by Singh. The makers have refuted the claim on several occasions.

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Historians say Rajput queen Padmini was a fictional character in Padmawat, an epic poem written by Malik Mohammad Jaisi in the 16th century, and it has no connection with history at all.

Amu, who lives in upscale Essel Towers on MG Road, has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) since his childhood. A law graduate, Amu belongs to a Rajput family from Sohna town in Gurgaon and has been associated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the RSS’ student wing.

The National Commission for Women on Monday had asked Haryana’s director general of police to take action against Amu for his derogatory remarks.

Chief ministers of several states ruled by the BJP, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have asked for “necessary changes” in the movie to respect the sentiments of Rajputs.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray spoke to Bhansali after a Rajput delegation sought his intervention and his party said the filmmaker should edit out offending portions.

On Tuesday, members of Kshatriya Swabhiman Sabha, Delhi-NCR wing, took out a procession in Gurgaon and burnt an effigy of Bhansali. The protestors also submitted a memo to the deputy commissioner seeking a ban on the film.

The movie was due to open on December 1 but its producers have deferred the release amid the violent protests and death threats.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 18:04 IST

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