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India: Nationwide protests against controversial film Jan. 24-25

Nationwide protests to occur on January 24 and 25 ahead of release of controversial film; avoid all large gatherings due to risk of violence

24 Jan 03:23 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 1/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/25/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Calcutta). COUNTRY/REGION India

Event

Demonstrations are expected to occur nationwide on Wednesday, January 24 and Thursday January 25 in protest of a controversial movie scheduled for release on Thursday. A large demonstration is scheduled to occur in Gurgaon (Haryana state) at 10:00 (local time) on Wednesday. Demonstrators will gather at Subhash Chowk, before going to malls and movie theaters across the city. A heightened security presence, along with associated transportation disruptions, should be expected in the vicinity of all demonstrations and movie theaters.

Associated demonstrations should be anticipated nationwide on January 24 and 25, particularly in Gujarat, Rajastahan, Harayana, and Madhya Pradesh states. Numerous movie theaters have reportedly received threats of violence, causing some to cancel all showings of the film. Additional protests, traffic disruptions, and heightened security measures are expected throughout in the country in the coming days.

Context

Protests are being held to denounce the release of a controversial Hindu-language film Padmavat. The film garnered controversy for its depiction of the relationship between a 14th century Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler. Some Hindu groups and members of the Rajput caste believe the film disrespects the Hindu queen and distorts historical facts. Various protests have occurred nationwide in recent months against movie.

The Supreme Court rejected bids to ban the film’s release in Gujarat, Rajastahan, Harayana, and Madhya Pradesh states on Monday, January 21. The announcement triggered violent protests across the country, with reports of demonstrators vandalizing malls, burning tires and vehicles, and blocking major roads in several cities.

Advice

Individuals in India are advised to avoid all large public gatherings due to the risk of violence and to anticipate heightened security presence in the vicinity of movie theaters.

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