By Shabina Akhtar — Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s out-of-the-box film promotion tour for his latest Bollywood release “Raees” seems to be amid a new controversy. The Government Railway Police (GRP) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the cinestar for rioting, damaging Railways property and more, while promoting his film at the Kota Railway Station in Rajasthan.
The Bollywood actor, had boarded the August Kranti Express from Mumbai and traveled to Delhi on January 23. The tour was a one of its kind promotional event, where the actor waved at his fans and even doled out freebies and gifts to them waiting for him at various stations.
Khan, has now been booked under sections 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed) and 160 (committing affray) of IPC. Under sections 145 (nuisance) and 146 (obstructing railway servant in his duties) of Railway Act, and section 3 (mischief causing damage to public property of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
“The complaint has been lodged by Vikram Singh, who runs a stall at the Kota Station. He has stated in his complaint that on January 23, when Khan had arrived at Kota Station for Raees’s promotion, a huge ruckus was created at the station by his fans. Adding on to the din, was the cinestar’s move of throwing gifts at the fans assembled to catch a glimpse of the actor. This caused a stampede-like situation, which eventually not only damaged his stall but also led to people looting his cash,” informed the SHO of GRP police station Kota.
The 32-year-old vendor, has also added in the complaint that he had also received minor injuries during the fiasco. On being asked, as to why, the FIR has been filed so late, Yogita Meena, a woman constable from GRP police station, spilled the beans by saying, “Initially, we hadn’t lodged a complain, as such things happen in huge gatherings. He was turned away by the officials. But he went to the railway court, and we now have got a court direction to register the case against the actor. Now, we are bound to take action.”
The promotional tour of Raees, has been marred with controversy right from the start. The fan-mob had gone beserk at Vadodara station too.
During the Vadodra fiasco, not only a huge chaos was created near the exit of the station but the din had also led to the death of Farid Khan Pathan, a heart patient, who had gone to the station with his wife and daughter to catch a glimpse of Khan.
Pathan’s death had caused a huge controversy, but eventually, no case was registered as the family didn’t want to get into legal hassles. Reacting to this, Amit Saini, a youngster from Kota said, “I think the vendor, is looking for compensation. Or may be, he is doing so on instigation. If he had been injured or had been robbed then the Kota Railway Police would have definitely registered a case.”
The film, which was released globally on January 25, has minted Rs 200 crore. However, right from its inception, the film has been surrounded by controversies, ranging from casting Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, to essaying the role of Abdul Latif, a Gujarati bootlegger. Khan had also had to meet MNS chief Raj Thackrey to ensure a smooth release for his film.
However, this is not the first time for a Bollywood actor to be booked under the Railway Act, 1989. Earlier, Karisma Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Satish Shah and Tinu Verma have been booked under this Act for having pulled the train chain, while shooting for their film Bajrang, way back in 1977. The case is still under trial at the Jaipur Railway Court. This case was initiated by assistant Station Master Sitaram Malakar, as the act had delayed the train by 25 minutes.
(Al Bilad Daily English)