Indian Ruling-Party Member Offers Bounty for Beheading of Bollywood Actress and Director Over the Movie “Padmavati”

The release of a Bollywood film, Padmavati, has been delayed indefinitely amid continued protests from Hindu groups, with an official from India’s ruling BJP placing a bounty of 10 crore rupees ($1.5m) on the heads of the film’s actress Deepika Padukone and its director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

“We will reward the ones beheading them, with 10 crore rupees, and also take care of their family’s needs,” Suraj Pal Amu, chief media coordinator for the BJP in northern Haryana state, told ANI news agency on Sunday.

The BJP, which also runs the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, distanced itself from the provocative statement.

“A show cause notice has been sent to him. There is rule of law in Haryana and no one can issue such fatwas,” Anil Jain, a BJP spokesman, told the ANI news agency.

But that has not deterred Amu from his diatribe against the film set in the 14th century. On Monday, he threatened to burn down theatre screens that show the film loosely based on an epic poem, Padmavat, penned more than 400 years ago.

Al Jazeera could not reach BJP spokespersons despite repeated attempts.

Last week, Padukone said that she was only answerable to the national censor board, referring to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

“Where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed,” she said.

Following threats, Padukone has pulled out of a global entrepreneurship summit scheduled to be held in the southern city of Hyderabad.

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