Shah Rukh Khan followed norms when he used a train journey to promote his movie Raees, said a railway official after the death of a man at the Vadodara railway station where thousands of fans had gathered to see the actor.
“Khan’s train travel – among with approximately 60 crew members of the yet to be released film Raees – was in accordance with the procedural norms,” said Ravinder Bhakar, the chief public relations officer (CPRO) of Western Railways.
“Permission had been given to the film crew after the team deposited a promo fee of Rs 1.80 lakh. Security control rooms across different zones had also been immediately intimated about the details of the travel,” Bhakar said.
Film shoots are permitted in trains, stations and railway properties for a special fee, while a smaller amount is charged for hiring trains to promote their movies. Some railway officials feel that the policy must be revisited, given risk of stampedes at overcrowded railway stations.
“While it is everybody’s democratic right to travel on a valid ticket in a train, the case of film stars must be treated separately. The norms need to be made more stringent,” said a railway official.
The victim, Farid Khan Pathan, suffered a cardiac arrest at the Vadodara station amidst a massive crowd of about 15,000 people who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the superstar.
He was a resident of Vadodara and a member of the Gujarat unit of the Samajwadi Party. He was earlier the state president of the party’s minority cell, but resigned in 2012, said Kiran Kansara, the party’s spokesperson in Gujarat.
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu asked the director general of the Railway Protection Force to launch an inquiry and take “stern action” in case of a lapse, as did the Gujarat Police order an inquiry.