The Kolhapur set of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati was vandalised and set on fire on Tuesday night. Around 40 to 50 people armed with sticks and stones are believed to have attacked the set and damaged cars parked around the location near Panhala Fort. The attackers had also lit petrol bombs at the set, according to The Times of India.
The arson came to light only after the team reached the set on Wednesday morning. Shooting has been called off until further notice.
“No arrests have been made yet,” said Assistant Sub Inspector Patil of the Panhala police station. “We are still looking into the case.” There were animals present at the site when the fire was lit, The Indian Expressreported. However, Patil denied reports that the animals were injured in the fire. Rimple Narula, the film’s costume designer, told IANS that most of the costumes for the extras have been reduced to ashes.
Nationalist Congress Party MLA Jitender Awhad, has condemned the attack and asked Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to take immediate action.
The attack comes months after Bhansali was assaulted on Padmavati’sset in Jaipur, Rajasthan, after which the shoot was shifted to Maharashtra. Members of a fringe Rajput group, the Karni Sena, had opposed a love scene between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji in the movie, which Bhansali said was not even there in the film. The characters are played by Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. The film also stars Shahid Kapoor.
The assaults continue even though historians have highlighted that the movie is a work of fiction based on a 16th century poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, Padmavat.