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Mumbai: Sanjay Leela Bhansali's retitled film 'Padmaavat' continuously dogged by controversies and agitations in the last one year, is all set for release on Thursday  ahead of Republic Day amidst tight security arrangements. The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) estimated that the film would be shown on nearly 3,000 screens across the country.

"We expect the film to be released in 3,000 screens in India and nearly 475 screens in Maharashtra", the film is being released in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D formats said COEAI President Nitin Datar on Tuesday.

The total of 140 theatres will screen the movie in Mumbai. It opened for advance bookings on Saturday with most theatres fast filling up.

"While the government has assured us security, we asked our members to approach the local police stations and formally seek security if they are screening the film," added Datar.

City police have already initiated preventive arrests and asked all cops to be on high alert. The department has requested all theatre owners to be cautious. Deven Bharti joint commissioner of police, law and order, said cops will not spare any person or organization that indulges in violence.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio assured security for the theatres across the State.

On Tuesday, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena with a history of leading anti-film protests came out in "full support" of the release across Maharashtra. "Our protests had never been about the content of any film. The Supreme Court and the Censor Board cleared the film Padmaavat. To call for a Bharat Bandh, to oppose the release of the film is definitely wrong," said Shalini Thackeray, general secretary of MNS.

The District Magistrate Gurugram has imposed Section 144 in the city. Several Rajput and Gujjar-dominated villages on Tuesday held panchayats and decided to stage demonstrations on Wednesday against screening of the film.

Jitender Chauhan, national executive member of the Rajput Karni Sena, said, “Panchayats were held in several villages and villagers decided to meet managers of cinema halls and to peacefully request them not to screen the film.

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