Captain Saurabh Kalia’s biopic to be a ‘prequel’ to Kargil War
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Captain Saurabh Kalia’s biopic to be a ‘prequel’ to Kargil War

Director Srikanth Velagaleti has acquired the rights to make a biopic on Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia.

bollywood Updated: Jun 09, 2018 16:47 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Saurabh Kalia,Srikanth Velagaleti,Vikram Batra
Director Srikanth Velagaleti with Dr. NK Kalia.

Hot on the heels of the announced biopic on Captain Vikram Batra, Kargil martyr and posthumous winner of the Param Vir Chakra, comes the news that another biopic on another Kargil martyr is in the works.

Director Srikanth Velagaleti has acquired the rights to make the biopic on Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was illegally taken prisoner by the Pakistan army on May 15, 1999. Capt. Kalia was out on a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post, in the Kaksar sector, with five fellow soldiers. Just before that, he noticed large scale intrusion by the Pakistanis at the Line of Control. He alerted the Indian Army base, and then began an exchange of gunfire between Capt. Kalia’s patrol and the Pakistani intruders. The Indians were captured when they ran out of ammo. In captivity, they were brutally tortured, before being shot dead. The soldiers’ mutilated bodies were returned to India on this day 19 years ago.

Captain Saurabh Kalia.

Velagaleti, director of the 2011 film Utt Pataang, met Capt. Kalia’s father Narendra K Kalia and mother Vijaya Kalia, in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, and got a no-objection certificate. He says, “We know what an effect the Kargil War had on our country. However, we don’t know much about the ‘prequel’ to Kargil. People don’t know the political situation that led to Kargil [War]. This film will be a ‘prequel’ from the perspective of Capt. Kalia.”

The film’s working title is Tagda Raho, and Srikanth is working on finishing the script. “We’re planning to begin the shoot from December this year or January next year,” he says. Once the bound script is ready, the film team will also need the Indian Army’s permission.

Read| Kargil martyr Vikram Batra’s brother on his biopic: I hope Sidharth Malhotra does justice to Vikram

Asked about who might play Capt. Kalia, the director says, “We need a 22-year-old. In that age group, we don’t have an established star, [so it will be] upcoming talent or a star kid.”

When contacted, NK Kalia says about Velagaleti, “I liked the vision he had. We acceded to his request as Capt. Kalia belongs to the whole nation.” The father adds that the film “would include the mention of violations of human rights (committed by Pakistan) under the Geneva Convention”..

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First Published: Jun 09, 2018 16:47 IST