Punjab bans Punjabi movie 'Shooter' for promoting violence; producer, others booked

Chandigarh, Feb 9 (PTI) The Punjab government has imposed a ban on the upcoming movie 'Shooter' based on the life of notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan, saying it promotes 'violence' and 'heinous crimes'.

The order to this effect was given by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday, according to a state government statement here.

'Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a ban on the movie 'Shooter', which is based on the life and crimes of notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan and promotes violence, heinous crimes, extortion, threat and criminal intimidation,' the statement said.

Meanwhile, a case was registered against the film's producer/promoter K V Singh Dhillon and others for allegedly 'promoting violence, heinous crime, gangsterism, drugs extortion, threat and criminal intimidation,' another statement said.

'Cases have been registered under Sections 153, 153A, 153B, 160, 107, 505 of the IPC, at the State Special Operations Cell at Mohali. As per the FIR, the movie 'Shooter' is likely to instigate youngsters to take up arms, and disturb peace and harmony,' it said.

The FIR came after the chief minister directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to look into the possible action that could be initiated against Dhillon, who had reportedly promised in writing, in 2019, that he would shelve the movie, originally titled 'Sukha Khalwan'.

The DGP had also been asked to look into the role of the promoters, directors and actors of the movie.         Sukha Kahlwan was shot dead by gangster Vicky Gounder and his accomplices on January 22, 2015, when he was being brought back to Patiala Jail after a court hearing in Jalandhar.

According to the statement, the chief minister made it clear that his government will not allow any movies, songs, etc that seek to promote crime, violence and gangsterism or crime in the state, which he alleged had flourished during the previous Akali regime.

The Punjab Police had last week registered a case against two Punjabi singers--Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, aka Sidhu Moose Wala, and Mankirat Aulakh-- for allegedly promoting violence and gun culture in a song uploaded on social media.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Director General of Police of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh to ensure that no songs glorifying liquor, drugs and violence are played even in live shows.

The chief minister has directed the police to ensure that nothing is allowed to disturb Punjab's peace and communal harmony.

The DGP disclosed that the matter of banning the controversial movie, which was set for release later this month, had been discussed at a meeting with the chief minister on Friday, along with a proposal from ADGP Intelligence Varinder Kumar, who also recommended a ban on the film.

The trailer of the movie was released on January 18.

In view of the expected repercussions of the movie on the youth and apprehensions of disturbance of public order, 'it would be appropriate if the release and screening of the movie be banned in the state of Punjab,' the ADGP had further stated.

According to the government statement, the movie's producer had earlier given his commitment after the Mohali police received a complaint about the film 'glorifying' gangster Sukha Kahlwan, who used to describe himself as a 'sharpshooter' and was allegedly involved in more than 20 cases, including that of murder, kidnapping and extortion.

In his letter, Dhillon had written to the SSP Mohali that 'since you are of the opinion that the content of the film may hurt the law and order situation, I am discontinuing the film project'.

'But instead of abandoning the project, the producers evidently went ahead with the film, which was now scheduled for release on February 21 under the new title with a new name for its leading protagonist,' according to the DGP.