DSP who shot at wife returns as reel villain
Out of Punjab Police’s grasp, suspended DSP Atul Soni is actively promoting his movie on Facebook, InstagramUpdated: Feb 11, 2020 01:10 IST
Life has metamorphosed from real to reel for suspended Punjab Police deputy superintendent of (DSP) police Atul Soni.
On the run after allegedly shooting at his wife on January 18 after a domestic spat, he’s playing villain in a movie, “Jagga Jagravan Joga”, to be released on February 14, celebrated by lovers the world over as Valentine’s Day.
Movie roles are not new to the man who has represented India internationally in handball, been part of a UN Peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and is fondly referred to as Singham by friends for his passion for body building and rippling muscles.
Soni is actively promoting the movie through his Facebook and Instagram accounts even as he continues to elude the police, say sources wishing to remain anonymous. A Mohali court had issued an arrest warrant against him after cancellation of anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court, which ruled as essential his custodial interrogation because of the weapon found in his house.
Interestingly, just a day after Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered a ban on the movie “Shooter”, based on the life of gangster Sukha Kahlwan as it “promotes violence, heinous crimes, extortion, threats and criminal intimidation,” it was learnt that Soni’s movie was also based on gangsters.
Termed an action drama, “Jagga Jagravan Joga” by Batra Showbiz showcases the life of a man forced to take to a life of crime. The lead role of Jagga is played by Punjabi singer Kulbir Jhinjer of the Velhi Janta album fame.
Set for a May 31, 2019 release, the movie, produced by Rajan Batra, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar and Baljeet Singh Sidhu, was delayed after getting stuck with censors.
According to sources, Soni plays Karaj, a farmer, against whom a false case is lodged by an uncle who covets his land. As he lands in trouble, unbeknownst to him, Karaj’s wife gives birth to their son, who grows up to become a thief because of poverty. Fleeing from the police to Delhi, he meets Karaj, who, unaware of their relationship, introduces him to his drug dealing business. What follows is a story about their dubious dealings, their connection to their childhood friends and how it all relates to Karaj’s past.
Roles in movies and music videos are not new to Soni. He was standing at a naka when a film director, impressed by his physique, approached him with an acting offer in 2006 -2007.
Soni has also acted with Punjabi actor Jograj in “Brahmchari Thanedar”, a movie that’s yet to be completed.
The roles he plays are mostly romantic and his movies portray the police in positive roles. Soni joined Punjab Police as assistant sub-inspector in 1992 and was promoted to DSP in 2018.
Among the eight Punjab Police officers selected for the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2006, Soni also represented India at international handball tournaments thrice. He won medals at Commonwealth Handball Championship New Delhi (silver), Junior Asian Handball Championship Malaysia (Silver), and Senior Asian Handball Championship Tehran (Iran).
Soni married Sunita, a national level handball player, after falling “head over heels” in love with her. Things soured later with both filing for divorce twice on grounds of mental cruelty and then withdrawing the cases.
On January 18, the couple returned to their Sector-68 home in separate vehicles after a quarrel at a lounge bar in Chandigarh’s Sector 26, but Soni fired at her when things heated up again. The bullet went over her head.
After this, Sunita filed a complaint with the police that she was regularly tortured “physically, emotionally and mentally” by Soni. A case was registered against him under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code besides the Arms Act at the Phase 8 police station in Mohali.
At the hearing on Soni’s anticipatory bail before a district court, Sunita’s lawyer had submitted that “a compromise has been effected between the parties”, following which Sunita, in an affidavit, also retracted her allegations.