Don aide turns film ‘director’

The Asian Age.  | Abhishek Sharan

Metros, Mumbai

Chhota Shakeel aide demands scenes ‘insulting Dawood’ to be cut.

Dawood Ibrahim

Mumbai: An alleged aide of Chhota Shakeel, the lieutenant of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has not only issued threats to the producer of a soon-to-be released Bollywood movie, Coffee with D, but has also suggested specific cuts in the movie and removal of its promos from a US-based video-sharing site.

In a 5.08-minute phone conversation with the producer, transcripts of which are with The Asian Age, the caller — who identified himself as a man working for “Chhota Shakeel Bhai” — is heard telling the producer that three “shots” in particular and all “dialogues” related to Dawood that “insult Bhai in the name of comedy” should be cut.

The movie portrays the struggles of a Delhi-based reporter who tries to get an interview done with Dawood and how he eventually succeeds in his mission. The caller, who did not divulge his name but said he was calling on Shakeel’s behalf, clarified that this was not an extortion call and said the movie’s makers are free to make money in Dawood’s name, but should desist from humiliating him. The caller also warned the producer against investing money in any other movie on Dawood (“Bhai”) and also to cut scenes and dialogues that may appear insulting to the don, if he wants to stay alive to make films in the future. Such calls were allegedly made after December 14 when the movie’s trailer was released. The moviemakers submitted a complaint to the Delhi police on Monday. The film’s publicist Shailesh Giri confirmed to The Asian Age on Tuesday.

The caller also asked the producer to remove “promos” from “YouTube” that allegedly featured three scenes from the movie that were purportedly insulting to Dawood. The caller also informed the producer that in his earlier conversation with another person associated with the movie, the latter had assured him that the “promos” could only be removed after “48 hours” as it had been uploaded on a US website.

When the producer attempted to clarify that the film’s scenes were not insulting Dawood, that the latter was actually featured as a leading character, the caller got infuriated. “Can you insult Bhai in the name of comedy?” the caller asked. At some point, the caller asked him, “Do you know who Bhai is? …So, why did you make a movie on him?”

Shakeel’s B’wood Connection:
Chhota Shakeel, according to the police, had allegedly financed a few Bollywood movies. He is known for giving unsolicited advice to filmmakers. In one of the calls intercepted by the Mumbai police crime branch few years ago, Shakeel was heard telling director Sanjay Gupta that the editing of his movies needed to be crisp. In an intercepted call with actor-director Mahesh Manjrekar, Shakeel was heard promising him a “real story”. All these intercepts were part of charge sheet filed in the MCOCA case file against Bharat Shah in connection with the Salman Khan starer Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, which according to police was financed by Shakeel.