The burnt Padmavati set
After facing the wrath of fringe outfits in Rajasthan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical drama Padmavati was the victim of vandalism in Maharashtra when a group of 20 unidentified people broke into the set in the wee hours of Wednesday. The set at Masai Pathar in Panhala, 20 km from Kolhapur, was attacked with petrol bombs, say sources.
While valuable antiques, regal costumes and vehicles were damaged in the fire, none of the actors were injured in the incident since shooting wasn’t on at the time.
Petrol bombs were hurled at the tents, damaging property
According to the police, the incident took place around 12.30 am on Wednesday, when men armed with bamboo sticks and petrol bombs, broke into Bhansali’s lavish set at Masai Pathar. "The miscreants attacked some of the workers, who tried to intervene, before hurling petrol bombs on a few tents, and setting them on fire," said MB Tambade, superintendent of police, Kolhapur. Since war scenes are being shot at this location, horses are on set. A few of them have also suffered injuries after the stable caught fire, say sources.
The miscreants fled the site within 15 minutes. Locals from the nearby village of Mhaluge rushed to help the staff douse the fire. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the incident.
A few horses were injured in the fire
"Bhansali hasn't file a complaint with the local police yet. Our men have approached the unit to check if they wish to register a case. They said they'd take a decision after consulting the filmmaker. At present, there does not seem to be any involvement of a political party," said Tambade.
However, a unit source said, "The producers will be filing a complaint." The source added that since there were a few people working on set at the time, they managed to get help on time.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Following the incident, police security has been beefed up. "The film's producers had already deployed heavy private security on set. We were also providing protection in the daytime since the shoot began here on March 6. However, this incident took place in the night," said Tambade.
Earlier, in January, shooting for the film was stalled by activists of a Rajput group Karni Sena, who tried to vandalise the set at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur.