‘Padmavati’ controversy: Body of man found hanging at Naharagarh Fort

Jaipur, (IANS) The body of a 40-year-old man was found hanging from the outer walls of Nahargarh Fort here on Friday morning, with messages against the film “Padmavati” scribbled on rocks nearby.

However, police said they are finding out whether the death has anything at all to do with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “Padmavati”, which is facing a storm of protests from some Rajput groups and political quarters for allegedly “distorting history”.

The message, written on stones near the fort wall adjacent to the body, read, “Hum putle nahin jalate….latkate hain” (we don’t burn effigies, we hang them).

“‘Padmavati’ ka virodh karne walon hum kile par sirf putle nahin latkatea. Hum main hai dum. (Those protesting against ‘Padmavati’ don’t just hang effigies from the fort walls. We have guts)”

There are other things also written, eyewitnesses said.

Satyendra Singh, DCP Jaipur (North), told IANS that the man has been identified as Chetan Saini, resident of Shastri Nagar. He is around 40 years old and runs a jewellery and handicrafts business.

“He left his house in the afternoon on Thursday and spoke to his wife around 5.30 p.m., after which the situation is not clear,” Singh said.

He said whether it is murder or suicide would be known after the investigation. “Without post-mortem report I can not say anything,” he said.

“There are messages written about ‘Padmavati’ on nearby stones. We will investigate it too… Who has written them, when was it written, why was it written and whose handwriting is it,” he said.

On one of the stones ‘Tantrik’ is also written, he said.

He said it would be too early to relate the messages to the threats against Bhansali’s “Padmavati”.

Sources in the police told IANS that it seems that to confuse investigators an attempt may have been made to link it with the “Padmavati” controversy.

The Shri Rajput Karni Sena has denied any involvement in the case. “We express complete disapproval of it and deny our involvement in any manner,” Vivek Singh Shekhawat, state general secretary, Shri Rajput Karni Sena said.

Even the family of the deceased considers it to be a murder and has demanded detailed investigation. They say the dead man has nothing to do with the “Padmavati” controversy.

Bhansali’s “Padmavati” has been mired in controversies since its shooting started. Activists of the Karni Sena, a Rajput community, besides other groups have been protesting against the movie, claiming the film “distorts” historical facts.

“They are trying to defame queen Padmavati by distorting historical facts. It is not acceptable,” an activist of the Karni Sena said.

Activists of the Karni Sena earlier this month vandalised a theatre in Kota, Rajasthan, over reports that it was showing a trailer of “Padmavati”. A Karni Sena leader threatened actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the lead in the movie, with physical harm.

The release of the movie, earlier scheduled for December 1, has been deferred.

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