Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 6, 2017)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period-drama, Padmavati, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons since it took off at Mumbai’s Film City in November 2016.

On January 27, members of the Rajput group Karni Sena stormed the set at Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort, damaging equipment and roughing up Bhansali. Filming came to an abrupt halt, followed by a lull, after which he quietly moved to Kolhapur with a team of character artistes and started shooting battle sequences on the Mhasai Pathar plateau.

Shooting once again hit a roadblock when miscreants sneaked in and set some boxes containing costumes and jewellery of junior artistes on fire on March 15. This time, Bhansali stayed put in Kolhapur and completed the remaining portions before flying back home.

This week, he flagged off another schedule in Mumbai’s Film City with Shahid Kapoor who plays Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh, Padmavati’s husband, and had been taking sword-fighting and horse-riding lessons with a personal trainer as part of his prep. The actor, who was in Amritsar with wife Mira and daughter Misha, returned to the Bay on Monday and got into action straightaway. “Deepika Padukone who plays Rani Padmavati is expected to join him soon,” informs a source.

Shobha Sant, CEO of SLB Films, admitted that they’ve beefed up security. “After the Kolhapur incident we wanted to be extra careful,” she said.

Padmavati is a dramatised account of the 1303 siege of the Chittor fort in Rajasthan with Ranveer Singh playing the antihero, Alauddin Khilji. Aditi Rao Hydari plays his young wife.