Protests against the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnus opus ‘Padmaavat’ escalated on Wednesday, just a day ahead of its release, as a school bus was reportedly attacked in Haryana’s Gurugram, while a theater in Jammu and Kashmir was vandalised by a mob and a Haryana state transport bus was set ablaze among other things.
A group of protestors reportedly pelted stones at a bus belonging to GD Goenka School, which was ferrying children at the time of the incident, near Bhondsi, breaking the vehicle’s windows. It was unclear if anyone was wounded in the incident. Meanwhile, a Haryana Roadways bus was also torched allegedly by members of Shree Rajput Karni Sena, the Rajasthan-based group that has been spearheading the agitations against the Deepika Padukone-starrer.
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Prohibitary orders are already in place in Gurugram, near Haryana, that restrict large gatherings in public area. Earlier in the day, there were reports that bars and pubs in the Millenium City had been asked to shut down in view of the protests but Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh denied such an order.
30 students and three teachers of GD Goenka World School, Sohna Road became the targets of an unruly mob on Wednesday afternoon in Bhondsi. The mob of around 50 people was protesting the release of the film ‘Padmaavat’ on Sohna Road. The bus was headed towards Gurugram city when the incident took place. Apart from the teacher and students, a caretaker was also present on the bus.
As soon as we came out of the school the bus was attacked. Even the police could not control them. The children somehow took cover inside the bus.: School staff on their school bus attacked by vandals in protest against release of #Padmavaat in Gurugram, #Haryana pic.twitter.com/4mebxa2jNB
— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2018
Section 144 imposed in district. It’ll be in effect till 28th Jan. Executive Magistrates & police forces deployed at sensitive places. We’ve appealed people to protest peacefully, if they must. No order to close school/colleges/bars: Vinay Pratap Singh, DM #Gurugram #Padmaavat pic.twitter.com/0QDRDElk1a
— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2018
According to officials, the incident took place around Ghamroj village when a mob carrying lathis and stones attacked the bus. “The mob had just attacked a Haryana Roadways bus and the school bus belonging to GD Goenka World School which was passing by also came under attack. The mob pelted stones at the school bus due to which the window panes broke. However, there were no injuries in the incident which took place around 3 pm,” said Gurugram deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh.
“As soon as we came out of the school, the bus was attacked. Even the police could not control them. The children somehow took cover inside the bus,” ANI quoted one of the staff members as saying. The school authorities too confirmed that the students did not receive any injuries.
“The bus was going towards Gurugram and was near Gamhroj when a mob attacked the bus. The accompanying teachers ensured that all the children were safe and asked them to take shelter under the seats. After this incident was reported, the school called back all the other buses and informed parents to come and collect their children,” said a school official.