The Bombay High Court is likely to hear on Tuesday a plea by RSVP Films seeking clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for the release of their film based on the biopic of Jaswant Singh Khalra, a prominent human rights activist.
FIlm awaits CBFC certificate
The yet to be named movie produced by Ronnie Screwalla and directed by Honey Trehan, starrs actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh. The film is complete and ready for release, however it awaits a CBFC certificate.
RSVP applied for the censor certificate in December 2022, and it was sent ahead to the review committee. All the necessary paperwork, as required by the CBFC, was completed. After waiting for nearly six months, the makers of the biopic moved the Bombay High Court.
Khalra had exposed police brutalities during Punjab militancy
Following Operation Blue Star, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, the police were empowered to detain anyone who was suspected to be a terrorist. It was alleged that the police killed unarmed suspects in staged shootouts, and burned thousands of dead bodies to cover up the murders.
Khalra, who was the director of a bank in Amritsar during the militancy period in Punjab, found evidence of abduction, elimination and cremation of thousands of unidentified bodies by the police. They reportedly even killed 2000 of their own officers who refused to collaborate in these extra judicial operations.
The human rights activist’s investigation sparked worldwide protests leading to a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The central agency concluded that the Punjab police had unlawfully cremated 2097 people in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab alone. The Supreme Court of India and the National Human Rights Commission have certified the validity of his data.
Khalra himself was allegedly abducted by police
In September 6, 1995, Khalra himself disappeared. Following a complaint from his wife, Paramjit Kaur, a case of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy was registered. Four policemen, former head constable Prithipal Singh and former sub-inspectors Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh and Jasbir Singh, were arrested for Khalra’s disappearance. The sessions court sentenced them to seven years in prison, which was enhanced to life sentence by the Punjab and Haryana Court on October 2007.