It's 26/11 again at Dhobi Talao
Residents woken up past 12 am by gunshots. Police say unit filming web series on Qasab-cops face-off didn't have nod for loud noise
Residents living around Metro junction woke up in fright after hearing gunshots post Thursday midnight. It turned out that it was the first session in a two-day shooting of a web series about the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. While the web series producer says they have all permissions, police say approval was given only for acting and not for fake firearms or noise during the shoot.
Zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police Sangramsinh Nishandar confirmed that it was a film shoot. An officer attached to the Chitrapat Shakha of Mumbai police told mid-day, "We have granted them permission only for acting and not to create any noise or for any gunshots. They have permission for film shooting from 9pm to 6am for two days."
'Dummy bullets fired'
Some residents of nearby Dhobi Talao told mid-day that they were at Metro Cinema where a scene was being recreated for the web series. Still, it seemed like the real thing. "During the shoot, one of the actors fired a dummy bullet. It sounded like real gunshots. A few actors in police uniform were seen collecting something from the road after the gunshot," said a youth.
The sight of the web series shoot and the sound of the dummy gunshots unsettled many people. A local shopkeeper, Nand Dev Jha said, "I woke up to get milk. The milk vendor felt something amiss at Metro junction and asked me 'Bhai kuch hua hai kya? Bahut sari police dekhi subah me' (Did something happen? I saw a lot of police). A few others told me that they heard gunshots. Later, I was told that there was a film shoot in the night."
Another youth said, "I was at the Metro Junction till 1 am as I had to meet a friend there. He said he heard the gunshots between 2.30 and 3am."
The scene being shot at Metro junction depicted Qasab and other terrorists driving away from Cama Hospital after killing three senior Mumbai police officers.
'There are no complaints'
The officer attached to Chitrapat Shakha of Mumbai police said the local police station has the right to register a case if anyone approaches with a complaint. An officer attached to Azad Maidan police station said they had not received any complaint regarding the gunshots. "We did not receive any call from our control room also, else our team would have gone to inspect the situation at Metro Cinema junction. But a handful of real policemen present on the film set did not say anything about the gunshots," the officer added.
'Have all permissions'
While the police claimed they had granted permission only for acting and not for the use of noise or fake firearms, the producer of the web series, Nikkhil Advani, insisted they have all permissions.
"We are a reputable production house (Emmay Entertainment) and will not embark on a massive shoot that entails locking down a major traffic junction, to shoot a complicated action sequence without permission," Advani said.
"It has taken a year to get all necessary permissions to be able to film with precision and efficiency. We have received tremendous support from local police, municipal authorities and the film commission. I can't change the street lights of Marine Drive (as their colour back then was different), fire guns and shoot with a crew of 400 people over four days, he added.
Inputs by Sonil Dedhia
No. of days the shoot will be on
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