PALAKKAD: The shooting of the film ‘Neeyaam Nadhi’ was called off on Saturday following the protest by BJP and RSS activists at Katampazhipuram near here. They disrupted the shoot while the crew was picturising a scene which showed a girl coming out of a temple and being attracted towards a youth from a different religion. They were also irked by the “display of the flags of Muslim League and SFI near the temple premises”.
Later in the day, the Sreekrishnpauram police arrested five persons for disrupting the shoot of the film at the Vayilamkunnu temple.
The arrested are Subramanian, Babu, Sreejith , Sachithanandan and Sabareesh. They were charged with trespassing on the sets, illegally gathering at one place and for trying to indulge in violence. It was the first day of the shoot of the film and the second shot had to be abandoned after the BJP protestors alleged conspiracy in the storyline and in choosing Vayilamkunnu temple in Katampazhipuram for the shoot. Some of the activists also went on Facebook live during the protest.
The police later escorted the crew of the film to a different location. Salman Farris, the script writer and one of the three directors of the film, told TNIE that the temple committee members had granted them permission for the shoot. The temple authorities had also conducted a pooja and gave ‘payasam’ to the crew. He, however, said the permission was not given in writing.
“The first shot shows a girl coming out of a temple after praying. When the crew were about to shoot the second scene where she is shown being attracted towards a youth from a different religion, dressed in his traditional attire, walking on the road outside that the locals created problems,” said Salman Farris, who also plays the role of the youth from a different religion. He said the hand of a 13-year-old girl was injured during the ruckus created by BJP protesters.
“Chairs and the camera stand were also damaged,” he said, adding that the flags of Muslim League and SFI were being dried for the shoot and was not displayed near the temple premises as alleged. Salman said the shoot was done outside the temple and it should have been accepted by the protestors as a work of art.
He said the traditional Muslim attire was only a costume. He had scouted for many other locations like the Varikassery mana, but the daily rent of Rs 35,000 per day was not affordable. “As the rent was only Rs 3,000 per day at the temple, we opted for this location which was ideal for a Malabar-centric story,” he said. “It is unfortunate that the first day of the shoot itself was disrupted,” he said. Aashique, Shinu and Salman are the directors of the film. BJP district president E Krishnadas said no permission was granted for the shooting of the film. “Moreover, the theme of the film hurts the religious sentiments of the temple devotees and most of the characters were dressed in traditional Muslim attire,” he said.
‘RSS UNLEASHING TALIBAN-MODEL ATTACKS’
T’Puram: The Purogamana Kala Sahithya Sangham has strongly condemned the incident where RSS workers forcefully stopped the shooting of a film in Palakkad. In a statement, the organisation said under the cover of the Narendra Modi government, the RSS has been unleashing Taliban model attacks in the country. There is an urgent need for serious introspection to assess whether the country is moving towards a situation where prior permission from religious extremists is required for film shooting, said Purogamana Kala Sahithya Sangham president Shaji N Karun and secretary Asokan Charuvil.