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Karni Sena’s Navi Mumbai chief among 11 held for highway protest

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Karni Sena’s Navi Mumbai unit president Bhagvat Singh Rathod was among eleven activists arrested in connection with the Monday night’s protest on Sion-Panvel highway against the forthcoming release of the controversial Bollywood film “Padmaavat”.

Around 25 members of the Karni Sena had placed seven burning tyres on the highway between the Vashi toll plaza and Vashi village at around 8 PM, briefly disrupting the vehicular traffic towards Pune.

A police official said the activists carrying sticks and stones, besides kerosene cans, had gathered near the toll plaza and started raising slogans against the January 25 release of the film.

“They fled after placing the burning tyres on road,” he said.

The Vashi police, who had registered a case under various sections of the IPC, traced the activists through CCTV footage and technical evidence and picked them up.

“The arrested persons included Karni Sena’s Navi Mumbai unit chief Bhagvat Singh Rathod alias Rajveer Singh (50),” he added.

All the accused were produced before a local court which remanded them in police custody till January 26.

“Padmaavat”, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is based on the saga of the 13th Century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

Rajput groups are stridently opposing the release of the film claiming that its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali “distorted” the history and showed Rajput queen Padmavati in bad light.

The filmmakers had denied the allegations.

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