UP only BJP state to crack down on 'Padmaavat' protests

January 25, 2018 08:19 pm | Updated January 26, 2018 11:23 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Uttar Pradesh has emerged as an exception among BJP-ruled states seeing violent protests against the film Padmaavat by members of the Karni Sena, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cracking down on protesters trying to disrupt its screening.

State health minister and spokesperson for the UP government Siddharth Nath Singh told The Hindu that “It’s not jungle raj, it is Yogi raj, and no one is allowed to take the law into their hands.”

“In U.P. we will not permit anyone to take the law into their hands, and we will crack down strongly on anyone who tries to do that,” Mr. Singh said. He also condemned the attack on a school bus in Gurugram by those protesting against the screening of Padmaavat .

On allegations that other BJP-ruled states were not cracking down as hard and were trying to appease the Rajput community, Mr. Singh said, “I can only speak in the context of Uttar Pradesh. We are going by the institutions that are empowered to make decisions with regard to various issues. When the Censor Board has cleared the film and the Supreme Court has refused to ban it and given directions to all the states, we will go by what these institutions have ruled.”

'Protests are natural'

“Protests are of course natural in a democratic set up, but they cannot be violent. Once directions to ensure the screening of the film have been issued, it is the job of the state government to protect law and order,” he said.

States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have seen violent protests over the film, and have received much criticism in their failure to ensure its peaceful screening.

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