Bajrang Dal members on Sunday went on a wild rampage on the sets of web series Aashram 3, and assaulted its crew including director Prakhash Jha.
According to reports a group of the right-wing outfit stormed the sets of Aashram 3 and threw ink at Jha and roughed him up while vandalizing vehicles of the crew.
Videos of the incident that have gone viral show the crew run amok as Bajrang Dal activists chase them, only to catch hold of one of them and beat him with a light stand.
Bajrang Dal members who shouted the slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Prakash Jha Murdabad’ and ‘Bobby Deol Murdabad’, said they were looking for the series’ lead actor Bobby Deol and that he should “learn something” from his brother Sunny Deol.
Bobby’s brother Sunny Deol, (both sons of veteran actor Dharmendra) is a BJP MP from Gurdaspur constituency of Punjab.
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Calling the web series an assault on Hinduism, the group’s Bhopal chapter’s head Sushil Sudele said it wouldn’t allow the shooting to resume until the title is changed.
“We want the film industry to be promoted here in Madhya Pradesh. People should get employment, but this land should not be used to humiliate Hindu samaj. In the earlier instalment of the series, it was shown that women are exploited inside Ashram, is it so? Stop defaming Hindus and if he wants to gain popularity then why not name any other religion and see the number of protests that happen,” Sudele said.
During the attack, Bajrang Dal workers intercepted vehicles of the crew and pelted them with stones. While no one was injured in the incident, police have said that the attack will be looked into and action will be taken against those responsible for the vandalism.
“All the miscreants have been shunned from the premises and no one has been fatally injured, though some vehicles have been damaged. Further action will be taken against those responsible,” ANI quoted Irashad Wali, DIG of Bhopal as saying.
He assured that the incident will not be repeated.
“We have given only a warning for now and Prakash Raj has said that he is in talks to change the show’s title,” Sushil Sudele said.
“I repeat the show’s name will have to be changed from Ashram or won’t be filmed here in Bhopal,” he added.
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Aashram, streaming on MX Player, has Deol playing the role of Baba Nirala, a self-styled godman with a criminal side. Despite its fictional nature, the web series is said to be inspired by the story of godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Dera Sacha Sauda leader who was convicted in 2017 for rape and murder.
In 2020, a Jodhpur court had issued notices to Deol and Jha based on a petition that said the web series has hurt religious sentiments. A case has also been filed against the makers of the film by Rajasthan police for allegedly promoting discrimination against SC/STs.