A man’s body was found hanging from the Nahargarh fort of Jaipur on Friday morning and a message written on a nearby rock suggested that the death was related to the dispute over the Bollywood film Padmavati.
“We do not just hang effigies, Padmavati,” said the Hindi message, seen in images published by the ANI news agency.
The man was identified as Chetan Saini, a 40-year-old local resident, who ran a jewelry and craft business from his home. Saini left home on Thursday afternoon and spoke with his wife for the last time at 5.30 pm, said a police officer.
An investigation is under way to determine whether it was a suicide or a murder, said Satyendra Singh, DCP Jaipur (north).
Singh said there were things written in Hindi on nearby rocks, which are linked to Padmavati. “We will investigate who the handwriting is and who has written it,” he said.
When asked about the mention of the tantric ritual with the victim’s name on the rocks, Singh said that the Saini family denied having participated in tantric rituals.
Protests against the film for allegedly distorting the story have lasted for weeks across the country, and two states, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, have even banned it. Several threats have been issued by far-right Hindu groups against the actress Deepika Padukone, who plays Padmavati, and the director of the film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Commenting on the incident, Rajput leader Giriaj Singh Lotwara said: “This is a matter of investigation.” Padmavati is a hot topic and anything can be linked to it. No organization can go so far as to threaten or encourage such things. ”
Padmavati tells the story of Queen Padmini, who is said to have committed suicide to avoid being captured by the Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji. Costumes like the Shri Rajput Karni Sena are angry at the rumored description of a romance between Padmini and Khilji, played by Ranveer Singh.
The publication of the film was postponed last Sunday in the face of protests.