Shadow police at shooting locations will be opposed: Malayalam film directors body
The Kerala police shadowing the film world in the state to end the alleged drug menace in the industry has hit a roadblock, as a top Malayalam film directors association is resisting the total and sweeping surveillance of their workplaces, like shooting locations.
Adopting a strong stand, the FEFKA directors union said it will not allow the deployment of shadow police at shooting locations.
Well-known director and general secretary of FEFKA directors union, B Unnikrishnan, said there was an impression being created that youngsters in the film industry are drug addicts. “Unfortunately such discussions have been going on in the recent past,” he said.
As a result, those in authority are under the belief that this sector – the film industry – deserves to be under total surveillance, he said. A step in that direction is the police decision to deploy a shadow unit at shooting locations.
Shadowing Kerala’s film industry
Kochi city police commissioner K Sethu Raman last month had said police presence would now be there at all film shooting locations in the port-city.
He had said that shadow police would be present at all shooting locations and raids would be carried out if information is received about use or sale of drugs. Not just him, several top officers have been vocal about the deep inroads drug use has made into various sectors, including the film industry.
Unnikrishnan said that FEFKA was of the view that deployment of shadow police or sweeping surveillance was not required.
“Deploying shadow police in shooting locations is not a practical solution. They will be easily identified as we know who all are part of the crew and who are not. Moreover, such locations are a closed environment and it would not be easy for an outsider to come in,” he said.
“Also they (police) cannot come in our frame. That is not allowed. Furthermore, it would be difficult to work in the presence of the shadow police. We are opposed to it. We do not want a total and sweeping surveillance. We will oppose it,” Unnikrishnan told reporters in Kochi.
Raid by excise deparment on a film writer
The press conference was held in connection with the recent raid by the excise department of the hotel room of film writer Najeem Koya in Erattupetta in Kottayam district.
Unnikrishnan said that while the excise department may have conducted the raid based on inputs from its intelligence wing, but the manner in which it was conducted was allegedly not proper.
The director further claimed that whosoever gave the tip to the department wanted to implicate Koya in a crime and not just defame him.
He demanded that whosoever gave the “wrong” information to the excise department regarding Koya, should be investigated for misleading the agency and that the person’s name should be revealed. “Such individuals should not be able to get away with giving false information and putting a man’s life in trouble like this,” Unnikrishnan said.
He also sought to know why the department was not recording the statement of actor Tiny Tom, if he was their brand ambassador, with regard to certain revelations by him about people he has seen using drugs.
While FEFKA was not opposed to action against drug use, but in instances like that of Koya, if someone has given wrong information, action should be taken against those persons, he said.
If any organisation or union connected to the film industry has information or a list of those who are addicted to drugs, the same should be shared with others in the industry.
(With inputs from agencies)