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A group of unidentified miscreants on Tuesday torched more than 40 vehicles in Ahmedabad and vandalised an outside area of a multiplex to protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film Padmaavat.

According to mall manager Rakesh Mehta, they had put a board on display outside the mall that read ‘Padmaavat’ will not be screened here’. “We had put up boards saying we won’t screen the film, still the mall was attacked by a horde of men,” he said.

PTI reported that more than 30 motorcycles were also set on fire and several other vehicles parked outside three city malls were damaged.

Ahmedabad police commissioner AK Singh said that several people have been arrested over the violence.

“Some anti-social elements today damaged vehicles outside three malls in the name of holding protests. It is a matter of investigation that who exactly was behind these acts. We have arrested several persons who were involved in the violence,” Singh said.

An official from city police control room said the mobs first torched 21 bikes parked in the premises of the Acropolis mall, which houses the PVR multiplex.

Later, the same mob reached Himalaya mall, which houses Carnival Cinemas and wreaked havoc by torching several bikes parked outside it, the official said.

Then the protesters torched around 10 bikes parked outside the AlphaOne mall, which houses Cinepolis multiplex, the official added.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja promised action against those guilty of the violence. “The situation deteriorated after some of the protesters, who took part in the candle march against the movie at SG Highway, reached at these malls,” Jadeja said.

“We will take strict action against the perpetrators. They first took part in the candle march at SG Highway and then reached these malls. I will seek report from city police as to how many policemen were deployed at these multiplexes,” Jadeja said.