Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a ban on the movie `Shooter’, which is based on the life of gangster Sukha Kahlwan and “promotes violence, heinous crimes, extortion, threats and criminal intimidation”, the government said on Sunday.
The Chief Minister has also directed Director General of Police 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.
According to an official spokesperson, Captain Amarinder has made it clear that his “government will not allow any movies, songs etc that seek to promote crime, violence and gangster culture or crime in the state, which had flourished during the Akali regime, under the patronage of SAD leaders.”
The spokesperson said the Captain Amarinder Singh’s government has come a long way in the past three years to restore the state’s law and order, which had hit a new low under the previous SAD-BJP regime. The Chief Minister had directed the police to ensure that nothing is allowed to disturb Punjab’s peace and communal harmony, he said.
The DGP disclosed that the matter of banning this controversial movie in Punjab had been discussed at a meeting with the Chief Minister on Friday where ADGP (Intelligence) Varinder Kumar, 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 Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Home Affairs and Justice.
The producer had earlier given his commitment after the Mohali police received a complaint about the movie glorifying gangster Kahlwan, who used to describe himself as “sharpshooter” and was allegedly involved in more than 20 cases, including 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.
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 the new title with 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.
Last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the DGPs of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh to ensure that no songs are played glorifying liquor, drugs and violence even in live shows. The Court further directed that District Magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) of each district would be personally responsible for strict compliance of these directions.