LAHORE: Almost three weeks ago, film producer Sohail Khan announced production of his upcoming romantic-comedy, Shor Sharaba. He had also revealed plans of roping in Indian director Hasnain Hyderabadwala for the project. While shooting for the film was in full swing, the Punjab police barged into the premises and allegedly misbehaved with the crew members and damaged the equipment earlier this week. Where too much ‘noise pollution’ at the Shor Sharba film set was cited as the main reason by police officials, the cast and crew had a different story to tell.
Shor Sharaba was being shot at a farmhouse on Bedian road, a few kilometres away from Wagah border in Lahore. The area’s police stomped into the location and ordered Hyderabadwala and Indian choreographer Reshma Khan to halt the shooting immediately.
At first the police termed the area as a “sensitive” location, later they claimed they were instructed by senior government officials to do so. “The crew was using loud speakers without permission and the public was getting constantly disturbed so the shooting was stopped as per official orders,” said a Defence police station official, requesting anonymity.
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“This incident has disheartened our Indian team members in particular,” said Khan. He claimed that the police not only barred the shooting but also physically abused some team members of Shor Sharaba. “They literally attacked us like a gang. Punjab police officials created a huge hue and cry on the location and slapped the cast members. This act did not only hurt us physically but has also left a bad impression for foreign investors. After such interventions, no one will want to visit our country for film-making.”
Film actor Meera, who was shooting for a song when the police arrived, felt ‘disgusted’ after the incident. “Pakistani artists perform in India and other countries and such incidents do not happen there. All around the world, police are not allowed to enter the shooting premises without permission. We should act like civilised people and treat foreign artists like guests,” said Meera.
Singer-turned-actor Rabi Peerzada, who is a part of the cast but was not present when the incident took place, shared similar sentiments. “I can only think about the kind of impression we are creating in front of foreign artists. Such acts should be discouraged at all costs,” Peerzada told The Express Tribune.
Nevertheless, holding a strong penchant for film-making, Khan is not one to step back. “I will continue the shoot but wonder why the Indian cast was targeted right now when they have been around for a month,” said Khan.
Shor Sharaba is slated to release on Eidul Azha.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2016.
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