‘Padmavati’ set in Maharashtra torched, crew beaten up
Vivek Waghmode | TNN | Updated: Mar 16, 2017, 09.16 AM IST
- Police said dress material, costumes, shoes, expensive drapery and wooden logs used to recreate a medieval India setting were reduced to ashes.
- Initial estimates put the loss at Rs 4 crore.
- In January, the shooting of the movie was stalled by members of a group called the Karni Sena who allegedly assaulted Bhansali and tried to vandalise the sets at Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort.
Police said dress material, costumes, shoes, expensive drapery and wooden logs and planks used to recreate a medieval India setting were reduced to ashes. Most of the material was packed in metal suitcases. Initial estimates put the loss at Rs 4 crore.
In January, the shooting of the movie was stalled by members of a group called the Karni Sena who allegedly assaulted Bhansali and tried to vandalise the sets at Jaipur's Jaigarh Fort.
The group was protesting against what it claimed were "wrong facts" in the movie, specifically what they said were love scenes between the legendary Rani Padmini of Chittor and Allauddin Khilji, a sultan of the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. Bhansali, who had denied any such scenes existed, had called off shooting at the fort.
Earlier this month, on March 5, the same group vandalised Padmini Palace in Chittorgarh Fort, a Unesco World Heritage Site, in broad daylight and smashed "heritage mirrors" that are traditionally held to be the ones in which Khilji had been allowed a glimpse of the queen Padmini.
Kolhapur SP M B Tambde said four tents had been put up at Masai plateau for the shooting.
"Around 60 crew members were living in one tent, the costumes and other material were kept in two other tents, and the fourth sheltered around 50 horses. The attackers stormed the area with sharp weapons, sticks and bottles containing petrol.
They attacked crew members, threatened to burn them alive and set on fire the tent that stored the costumes," he said.
Tambde said crew members tried to apprehend some of the attackers while they were fleeing. "However, the miscreants beat them up and vanished in the dark. Two crew members suffered minor injuries and were taken to a private hospital," he added.
The police, fire brigade and members of the local administration rushed to the plateau on hearing of the incident. The fire brigade used three water tankers to put out the blaze.
Chetan Devalekar, executive producer of Bhansali Productions Private Limited, later lodged a complaint with the Panhala police. "The shooting of the movie at the plateau had started on March 6 and was to be completed by March 18. After finishing the day's shooting on Tuesday evening, Bhansali and the team discussed the shots to be taken the next day.
We had planned to shoot a procession and a battle scene in which around 750 people were to participate. We made the necessary arrangements and left for Kolhapur," he said.
Devalekar said the crew called up at around 1.30am to inform them about the attack.
"The costumes of around 700 people and wooden logs and planks used for the sets and the tents were reduced to ashes. We estimate the loss to be around Rs 4 crore," he said.
Devalekar said in view of the January incident in Jaipur, the team had sought police protection at the plateau. "The police provided security by way of 15 personnel, including five women constables, from 10am to 6pm. Besides, we had hired 40 private security personnel.
However, all of them were on duty only during the day. We never expected an attack on the sets during the night," he said. Police have registered a case against unknown persons under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.