Shouting slogans against Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, VHP members threw stones at a parking lot of a luxury hotel here early today damaging his car in continuing protests against the shooting of his upcoming film “Raees” in Gujarat over his earlier remarks on “intolerance”.
The film’s crew members are staying in the hotel but the 50-year-old actor was not there at the time of the incident as he arrived here only this afternoon.
After an FIR for rioting and damaging property was filed in this regard in the evening, at least seven persons, claimed to be associated with the right-wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), were detained, police said.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) B U Jadeja, 8 to 10 persons threw stones in the open parking lot of Hyatt Regency Hotel on Ashram Road, where Shahrukh’s vehicle was parked, this morning and fled from the spot.
“As per the complaint lodged by the Security Officer of the hotel, 8 to 10 persons came on bikes and threw stones on cars parked in the open parking lot early this morning. Due to the stone pelting, windscreen of Shahrukh Khan’s car got damaged,” said Jadeja.
“We have learnt that Shahrukh Khan was not there in the hotel when incident took place. Some of his crew members, who have come here for shooting, were staying in the hotel. Shahrukh landed in the city this afternoon for the shoot,” he added. The shooting is taking place in Bhuj.
Meanwhile, a video showing unidentified persons throwing stones inside the hotel also surfaced on social media platforms. In the video, they can be seen shouting slogans against Shahrukh and fleeing on bikes after throwing stones.
Gujarat unit of VHP claimed responsibility for the incident. The outfit’s State spokesperson Raju Patel said the detained persons are associated with VHP and threw stones on Shahrukh’s car as part of their ongoing protests against the actor.
Around 20-30 VHP activists had last week handed over a memorandum to Bhuj district officers and demanded withdrawal of the permission given for the shooting of the film. They protested outside the district Collector’s office pressing for the same demand and shouted slogans against the actor and also burnt and tore his posters.
In November last year, Shahrukh sparked a debate when he said during an interview that there was “extreme intolerance” in India.
However, the actor retracted his statements just a few days later, claiming his comments were “misconstrued”.
As per the complaint filed by the hotel’s Security Officer Hitendrasinh Gadhvi, the group was led by one Nilesh Arya and the damaged car had registration number GJ1-TC-A-821.
Upon receiving the complaint, Vadaj Police lodged an FIR for rioting and damaging property against Arya and others. According to Vadaj Police Inspector V G Rathod, seven persons have been detained so far.
“A case of rioting has been registered against these persons. We are yet to find out their association with VHP or any other organisation. Till now, we have detained seven of them, including Arya. We will arrest them after preliminary questioning,” said Rathod.
“Nilesh Arya and others named in the FIR are associated with VHP. We have been protesting against Shahrukh’s remark that India has become intolerant. Our workers wanted to give a strong message to him for his remark about India,” VHP’s state spokesperson Raju Patel said.
The “Chak De! India” star is facing facing protests by VHP ever since he came to Gujarat early this month to shoot for his upcoming film ‘Raees’. Today, “King Khan” shot some scenes at famous Sarkhej Roza, a mosque and tomb complex.