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A starry night with less stars this time!

The much-awaited annual event of the Mumbai police, the musical starry night which is the culminating event of the Diwali celebrations, may lose its shine this year in the absence of the super star/starlets, reports Debasish Panigrahi.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 00:40 IST

The much-awaited annual event of the Mumbai police, the musical starry night which is the culminating event of the Diwali celebrations, may lose its shine this year in the absence of the super star/starlets.

Moreover, learning from the past experience, the police administration has decided not to send invitations to TADA accused Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt of the function.

Called 'Umang', the musical night has always been a virtual parade of Bollywood stars and starlets while the audience consists of some of Maharashtra and Mumbai Police's former and present officers and their families.  

In the past, Umang has seen stars beginning from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan to Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan participating. This year, though, Bollywood heart throbs like Abhishek Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are likely to skip 'Umang 2006' which will be kicked off at the Andheri Sports Complex in the evening of November 12.

More bad news—the audience, mostly policemen of all ranks and files and some important VVIP invitees—will be deprived of the item number of Rakhee Sawant, a regular feature at the event for the last two years. Obviously, the police does not want to invite another round of controversy by making Rakhee dance to their tunes.

However, the only consolation-Big B Amitabh Bachchan may make an appearance, confirmation for which is still awaited.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Subhash Avate told HT on Wednesday that Abhishek, Shah Rukh and Aishwarya will be unable to attend the show as they had a series of shoots schedule for that day. As per Amitabh, Avate said the mega star was largely confining himself to home to look after his ailing mother. "We are still hopeful that he may just grace the occasion even for a short period," he added.

However, for the invitees and performers, mostly from Bollywood, the police have carefully prepared the list. Personalities having controversial backgrounds or links to criminal cases will be kept out of the event. "We have done a proper verification of the invitees' profile," Avate said. However, sources in the Mumbai police said, Salman Khan, who is facing several criminal cases at present, may be an exception as the star has confirmed his appearance.

Of the 50 odd Bollywood personalities (including actors/ actress) who have confirmed their presence/performance at the night include, Bipasha Basu, John Abraham, Ayesha Takia, Kajol et all. Star TV and Zee Marathi have been given the copyright for the event's telecast in Hindi and Marathi respectively.

However, Avate said that both the broadcasters have been cautioned that they can use the clippings of the event for three years. But at the same time can not club the clippings with any programme or change the original records. "There will be no Gutkha or liquor advertisement at the programme venue," Avate added.

Email debasish.panigrahi@hindustantimes.com