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Vishnoi community demands arrest of absconding Saako-363 director

The film, Saako-363, is based on a 287-year-old incident in which 363 men and women from the Vishnoi community laid down their lives while protecting Khejri trees in erstwhile Jodhpur state.

jaipur Updated: Dec 02, 2017 19:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Saako-363,Padmawati,Vishnoi community
Vishnoi religious leader Swami Ramanand and other members of community on a dharna.(HT Photo)

After public outrage over ‘Padmawati’ and the demand to ban it, another film — based on the sacrifice of the Vishnoi community — is now in news. However, this time the community is upset as the film has not been released.

The film, Saako-363, is based on a 287-year-old incident in which 363 men and women from the Vishnoi community laid down their lives while protecting Khejri trees in erstwhile Jodhpur state.

According to community sources, the film is ready but its release is getting delayed as the director, Kalyan Ram Sirvi, has gone into hiding with the film’s copy.

The community, led by its religious head, Swami Ramanand, sat on a dharna on Friday outside Nagaur collectorate demanding the arrest of Sirvi and recovery of the film. According to Himmat Ram Bhamu, a community elder and president of Vaishno Jeev Kalyan Sewan Samiti, Sirvi put two demands before the producer — he wanted the film to release under his company’s banner and 15% of the total profits.

“According to the contract between the producer and director, Sirvi was paid his due amount. The film was completed around six months ago and Sirvi took to submit it to the Central Board of Film Certification in August but since then the Vishnoi community has not been able to contact him,” said Bhamu

Putting his weight behind the community’s demand, the religious head of Vishnois demanded a solution. “The government should intervene and resolve the matter amicably before it is too late,” said Swami.

The community members charged police with inaction in the case. “The police have failed to arrest the film’s director even though five months have passed. The FIR was lodged against Sirvi in August,” said Ramratan Vishnoi, producer of the film.

“The community contributed over Rs 4 crore for the project. It took five years to complete the film on the community’s sacrifice and contribution in safeguarding the flora and fauna of the region,” said Vishnoi. “The community has its religious sentiments attached to the project,” he added.

“If the government doesn’t act in the next 15 days, we will intensify our agitation,” Ramswaroop Vishnoi, a community elder warned.

Meanwhile, the police said that it had sent teams to Mumbai on November 7to nab the director but could not find him. “We are making every possible effort to catch him,” said SHO Sribalaji police station.

First Published: Dec 02, 2017 19:57 IST