The cast and crew of an Alt Balaji web series, Fixer, were attacked by goons who barged into their Mumbai film set on Wednesday evening. In a video shot by actor-filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia and published on his social media accounts, executive producer Saaket Sawhney and the crew members are seen narrating the incident.
“They accused us of shooting without permission while we had clearly got valid permissions and had done the payments. Four people, drunk and armed, came in, and started beating up our crew members…There was no scope for dialogues. They manhandled our artistes, including women,” said Sawhney.
I was there when it happened on the sets of fixer at Mira road drunk goons thrashed our unit Santosh thundiyal cameraman got six stitches. Pathetic pic.twitter.com/eWnJ55YXzv
— Tigmanshu Dhulia (@dirtigmanshu) June 19, 2019
The team were shooting in a private property on Mira Road when the incident happened. Mahie Gill, who escaped unhurt, said that the men thrashed everyone in sight. When director Sohum Shah tried to stop the goons, he was beaten up. “When our cinematographer Santhosh Thundiyil tried to intervene, he was hit on his head and started bleeding badly,” said Gill.
Apparently, the film team tried seeking the police’s help while the ordeal was underway. However, instead of helping them, the police sided with the goons. Sawhney said that the police locked the compound gates, and said that they won’t return the team’s equipments unless they were paid. “This is harassment. We won’t go to the police because we have lost faith in them. We will be labelled as criminals,” said Sawhney. “We have decided to not to approach the police because when we sought their help, they encouraged the goons to beat us up. The police have become the most dangerous goons,” said Gill.
Ashok Pandit, filmmaker and the president of the Indian Film & Television Director’s Association, tweeted late Wednesday night that he, along with a delegation of Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) had met Avinash Ambure, the deputy commissioner of police, Thane, in relation to the attack on the film unit.
Led the delegation of #FWICE & met the #DCP Thane – #AvinashAmbure in relation to the attack on a film unit. He was kind enough to take immediate action against the culprits. FIR has been filed. Thank U @ThaneCityPolice, @DGPMaharashtra, #VivekPhansalkar (Comm.), @Dev_Fadnavis. pic.twitter.com/Dy27W3lWT3
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) June 19, 2019
Image courtesy India Today/Ekta Kapoor Instagram