A caste organisation in India, which has been staging violent protests across India against the screening of the Deepika Padukone starrer Padmavati, has threatened to burn down theatres in the UK.
The Shri Rajput Karni Sena, a group based in the north Indian state of Rajasthan and representing the powerful upper-caste Rajput warrior clan, was angered by the film being cleared for screening in Britain. It had earlier threatened to "chop off" Padukone's nose because she had acted in the film.
The Karni Sena had vandalised the Bollywood movie's sets in Rajasthan, claiming it distorted historical facts.
Angered by the decision of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to pass the movie for release in the UK, Karni Sena president Sukhdev Singh threatened to torch movie theatres in Britain and stage protests across the country. The movie has still not been cleared for public screening by the BBFC's counterpart in India, the Central Board of Film Censors.
According to the BBFC's official website, Padmavati, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, will hit theatres as scheduled on 1 December and without any censor cuts.
"I myself wanted to go there to protest but the Indian government has confiscated my passport, so I will ask the Rajput community there to protest," said Singh, according to Republic World.
The caste leader also vowed to "move international courts" to get Padmavati "banned".
Set in the 13th century kingdom of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan state, Padmavati narrates the virtues and legends of the Rajput queen Padmini. The legendary queen still captivates popular imagination as she had committed ritual suicide, or Jauhar, to escape rape and slavery when Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji attacked her kingdom.
Singh, however, said Padmavati "totally distorted" the queen's portrayal. "It is an insult to the culture of the community and the queen's legacy," he was quoted as saying by News 18.
The protests against the film are set to intensify in India. After urging the country's Supreme Court to stay Padmavati's release, the Karni Sena has called for a countrywide strike on 1 December.