Punjab bans ‘Shooter’ movie for ‘glorifying’ slain gangster Sukha Kahlwan; FIR against producer

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'Shooter' movie was scheduled to release on February 21 (Screengrab from the trailer)

Hours after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered a ban on the movie, `Shooter’, which is based on the life and crimes of notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan, Punjab Police registered a case against producer/promoter K V Singh Dhillon and others for allegedly promoting violence, heinous crimes, gangsterism, drugs extortion, threats and criminal intimidation.

A case has been registered under sections 153, 153A, 153B, 160, 107, 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Punjab State Special Operation Cell, Mohali, said a police spokesperson. The FIR said the movie `Shooter’ is likely to instigate youngsters to take up arms, and disturb peace and harmony.

The FIR came after the chief minister directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to look into the possible action that could be initiated against K V Singh Dhillon who had reportedly promised in writing back in 2019, that he would shelve the movie, originally titled `Sukha Kahlwan.’ The DGP had also been asked to look into the role of the promoters, directors and actors of the movie.

Kahlwan, who used to describe himself as “sharpshooter”, was facing more than 20 cases, including those pertaining to murder, kidnapping and extortion. He was shot dead by gangster Vicky Gounder and his accomplices on January 22, 2015, while he was being brought back to Patiala Jail after a court hearing in Jalandhar.

The Chief Minister has also directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to look into the possible action that could be initiated against one of the film’s producers, KV Dhillon, who had reportedly promised in writing, back in 2019, that he would shelve the movie, originally titled `Sukha Khalwan.’ The DGP has also been asked to look into the role of the promoters, directors, and actors of the movie, a government statement said.

It added that Amarinder has made it clear that his government will not allow any movies, songs that seek to promote crime, violence and gangsterism in the state. “Captain Amarinder-led government has come a long way in the past three years to restore Punjab's law and order, which had hit a new low under the previous SAD-BJP regime, “ the statement said adding that the CM has directed the police to ensure that nothing is allowed to disturb the states' peace and communal harmony.

The matter of banning the movie was discussed at a meeting with the Chief Minister on Friday, the DGP said.  ADGP Intelligence Varinder Kumar had also recommended a ban on the movie, whose trailer, released on January 18, suggested that the film was highly radical.

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, in a letter to Addl Chief Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Home Affairs & Justice.

The Producer had earlier given his commitment after the Mohali police received a complaint about the movie glorifying Kahlwan. In his letter, Dhillon had written to SSP Mohali that “since you are of the opinion that the content of the film may hurt 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 a changed title and a new name for its leading protagonist, according to the DGP.

The decision to ban the movie comes less than 10 days after the Mansa Police registered a case against Punjabi singers Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu (Sidhu Moose Wala) and Mankirat Aulakh for propagating violence and crime through a video clip uploaded on social media.

It may be recalled that the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Civil Writ Petition 6213/2016 had already directed the DGPs of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory, Chandigarh to ensure that no songs are played glorifying the liquor, drugs, and violence in any song even in the live shows. The court further directed that District Magistrates/SSPs of each district would be personally responsible for strict compliance of these directions.