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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

‘Hello, Sunny Leone’: Dialogue in Punjabi film leaves Delhi man ‘harassed’

Having received over 500 unwanted phone calls and just as many messages since the release of the film, Aggarwal approached the Maurya Enclave police station in Delhi with a complaint Sunday, but he is yet to get any respite from the constantly ringing phone.

delhi Updated: Aug 01, 2019 07:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
It all began after Leone-starrer Punjabi film, ‘Arjun Patiala’, hit the theatres Friday.
It all began after Leone-starrer Punjabi film, ‘Arjun Patiala’, hit the theatres Friday.(HT photo)
         

For a 26-year-old Delhi resident, his mobile phone number has become the bane of his life over the past few days. Since Friday, he has been bombarded with hundreds of phone calls and messages from people who want to connect with Bollywood film actor Sunny Leone.

It all began after Leone-starrer Punjabi film, ‘Arjun Patiala’, hit the theatres Friday. In the film, Leone’s character is seen mentioning ‘her phone number’ to a policeman played by Diljit Dosanjh. As it turned out, in real life, the number belongs to Puneet Aggarwal, a resident of north Delhi’s Pitampura.

Having received over 500 unwanted phone calls and just as many messages since the release of the film, Aggarwal approached the Maurya Enclave police station in Delhi with a complaint Sunday, but he is yet to get any respite from the constantly ringing phone.

“We are looking into his complaint, but there is no criminal offence as such in this case. The complainant will have to seek a civil remedy,” Vijayanta Arya, deputy commissioner of police (north-west), said. On Tuesday, Aggarwal said he would approach the court.

Aggarwal works for a private firm and also runs a small business. He has been using the same mobile phone number for the past 12 years and says he cannot change it as it would affect his business. “My business contacts have this phone number. My world and work revolves around this phone number,” Aggarwal said.

The first crank call, Aggarwal said, came on Friday afternoon. “The caller wanted me to put him in touch with Leone. I thought he had dialled a wrong number, but then I began receiving more such calls,” Aggarwal said. He says the calls came not only from across India, but also from other countries such as Indonesia and New Zealand.

Also read | Couple chopped into pieces, another gagged and strangled in Kolkata

It was one of the callers who finally enlightened him about the fact that his phone number was mentioned by Leone in a Punjabi film.

Aggarwal says the incessant calls and messages have disrupted his life— he has not been able to go to work or sleep properly for the last two days. The film’s director, Rohit Jugraj, however, said he wasn’t aware of the situation.

“On our part, we had taken care not to use any existing mobile phone number. I think Leone mentioned a nine-digit number,” Jugraj claimed.

In the film, however, Leone is seen giving out ‘her phone number’ that begins with ‘9211’, before mentioning the remaining six digits. The policeman played by Dosanjh then repeats the number. Director Jugraj said the stress was on the first four digits, which amount to the Hindi idiom ‘nau do gyarah’ which means ‘to run away’.

When contacted, Leone’s publicity team said the actor only reprised the role in the film and had nothing to do with the script.

Aggarwal, meanwhile, is still busy fending off calls and messages. When he explains the situation to a caller, he is often met with disbelief and scorn. “They hold me responsible for making my number public,” Aggarwal said.

“Initially, my family also believed that I was responsible for this situation. It was only after they saw the movie clip that they realised that the error was not on my part,” Aggarwal said.

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 20:31 IST

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